Christchurch, March 12 (IANS) New Zealand’s senior left-arm fast-bowler Neil Wagner has been ruled out of the second Test against Sri Lanka, starting from Friday at the Basin Reserve, after a scan on Sunday during the ongoing first Test at Hagley Oval revealed he has a bulging disc in his back and a torn right hamstring.
Wagner felt pain in his right leg while bowling on day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Hagley Oval and was taken for scans, which showed the injuries, with an estimated recovery time of six weeks.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) further said in its official update that if required, Wagner will be available to bat for the hosts’ in the ongoing Test match in Christchurch.
Head coach Gary Stead said the whole team were feeling for Wagner.
“We all know how much playing Test cricket for New Zealand means to Neil and we are all disappointed to see him side-lined like this. The fact he was still hoping to play on, carrying these injuries shows you just how determined he is to try and give his all for the team,” he was quoted as saying in the NZC statement.
NZC also said right-arm fast-bowler Matt Henry received three stitches in his right hand in the webbing between his thumb and index finger on Saturday after play. He will be available to bowl in the ongoing first Test on Sunday.
Regarding changes in the squad for the second Test, seamer Doug Bracewell was called into the squad for the second Test in Wellington. Bracewell, 32, had last played a Test for New Zealand in 2016.
“Doug is a skilful bowler who has been in strong form for the Central Stags across formats this season. We believe his skills will complement the rest of the bowlers we have in the group going into the next Test,” added Stead.
Meanwhile, Opener Will Young has been released from the Test squad to represent the Central Stags in the next round of the Plunket Shield. Stead said the change was made to give Young match time.
“We think it’s important for Will to keep getting cricket under his belt. With the timing of this round and the next Test, we thought it was a good opportunity to get him on the park and have time in first-class match conditions.”