Wagner Recall Possible for New Zealand in Christchurch Test

Wagner Recall Possible for New Zealand in Christchurch Test

New Zealand’s Test captain Tim Southee has hinted at the possibility of recalling veteran fast bowler Neil Wagner for the second Test against Australia in Christchurch. The move comes after Will O’Rourke suffered a hamstring injury during the first Test in Wellington.

O’Rourke left the field during the third day of the match with tightness in his left hamstring. He did not return to the field for the remainder of Australia’s second innings, but he did bat on day four and was able to run between the wickets.

Southee admitted that New Zealand may have made a mistake in their selection for the first Test, opting for four fast bowlers on a pitch that offered more spin than expected. Hagley Oval in Christchurch, the venue for the second Test, is traditionally more favorable for pace bowling.

If O’Rourke is ruled out, New Zealand do not have a fourth seamer in their squad. Wagner retired from international cricket after being told he would not be selected for the Australia series. However, with New Zealand trailing 1-0 in the series, Southee did not rule out the possibility of recalling Wagner.

“We haven’t had a lot of discussions as yet,” Southee said. “We’ll see how Will scrubs up. The physio hasn’t sort of put a timeframe on it or how bad it is. We’ll just wait and see how Will goes over the next couple of days. I’m sure there’ll be an update in the next 24 hours.”

Southee ruled out the possibility of recalling Trent Boult, who has been playing only T20 cricket in recent times. He also defended the performance of Scott Kuggeleijn, who took two wickets in the first innings but conceded 75 runs in 20 overs.

Southee identified Cameron Green’s 174 not out and his 116-run 10th-wicket stand with Josh Hazlewood on the second morning as the turning point in the match. He conceded that New Zealand’s strategy against Green was flawed.

“I think we probably could have tried to get Green out on that second morning,” he said. “I think the way he played that that night before, we thought he was probably going to come out and play some shots. But we probably could look to get him out and on that second morning and make things slightly easier than what we did.”