New Zealand quick Matt Henry has been summoned as cover for Neil Wagner, who is expecting the birth of his first child, ahead of their first Test against India, set to begin on Friday, 21 February.
Wagner will stay back in Tauranga, while the rest of the team lines up to play the opening game of the two-match series in Wellington.
Wagner was the third-highest wicket-taker in Tests last year, snaring 43 wickets in just six games, half of what list-topper Pat Cummins took to capture his 59 wickets. He was expected to share the fast-bowling charge alongside Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, but will now stay with his wife Lana, awaiting news.
Matt Henry has been called into the BLACKCAPS Test squad as cover for Neil Wagner who is awaiting the birth of his child. Henry will arrive in Wellington this evening. #NZvIND— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 19, 2020
Henry wasn’t included in the initial 13-man squad, with Jamieson being preferred as the fourth seamer in the squad. The 28-year-old Henry has featured in 12 Tests, the last of which came against Australia in Sydney, earlier this year. So far, he has picked up 30 wickets at 50.16, with best figures of 4/93.
Originally, Wagner was supposed to fly out to train with the team on Thursday, a day before the game is due to begin. Henry will join the squad on Wednesday, 19 February, but in case of Wagner's absence, New Zealand are likely to hand 25-year-old Jamieson his maiden Test cap.
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