NZ consider recalling retired Wagner for Christchurch Test, hints Southee

 - Sakshi Post

Wellington, March 3 (IANS) New Zealand captain Tim Southee has not ruled out the possibility of fielding the retired Neil Wagner in the second and final Test against Australia at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

An injury to fast-bowler Will O'Rourke in his hamstring resulted in him leaving the field on the third day of the first Test, though he came out to bat in the fourth innings at Wellington, where New Zealand lost the match by 172 runs.

Wagner had officially retired from international cricket just days before the start of the first Test after being told he wouldn’t be picked in the squad, but briefly came on to the field as a substitute fielder and received warm applause from the crowd at Basin Reserve.

"We haven't had a lot of discussions as yet. 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.

"We obviously have to go on and make a decision on who comes in and what role we sort of see that playing out in Christchurch. (Wagner's) had a great reception here over the last week where he got a couple of moments on the field and obviously he's been a fan favourite for a long time," said Southee after the match.

But Southee did rule out the chance of an inclusion to left-arm fast-bowler Trent Boult, who last played a Test match in June 2022. "I don't think his loading is up to it on the back of T20," he added.

Southee also admitted that New Zealand had misjudged the conditions at Wellington, where they sidelined left-arm spin all-rounder Mitchell Santner in favour of getting four-man fast-bowling attack.

“We certainly didn’t think it was going to spin as much as it did (or) the turn or bounce that was on offer over the last couple of days. We’ll go to Hagley and we’ll assess the wicket, hopefully a little bit better than we did here.

Southee signed off by confessing that Australia all-rounder Cameron Green's spectacular 174 in the first innings was the difference between the two teams, where he and Josh Hazlewood had a partnership of 116 for the last wicket. "I think we probably could have tried to get Green out on that second morning.

"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."

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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