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Neil Wagner Replaces Injured Matt Henry In New Zealand Squad For Bangladesh Tests

image-lp3ioszdNeil Wagner in action [X.com]

Veteran New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner has received a call-up to the New Zealand Test squad for Bangladesh, stepping in for the injured Matt Henry. 

Henry suffered a right hamstring tear during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India and has been recovering in New Zealand. However, recent scans and assessments indicated that his injury hadn't sufficiently healed to make him available for Test match cricket.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector Sam Wells expressed gratitude for having a player of Wagner's calibre to fill the void. 

Wells emphasised the excitement about having Neil's skills and experience for the Bangladesh tour, noting his impressive track record and competitiveness, especially in sub-continental conditions. 

“It’ll be great to have Neil’s skill and experience on the tour of Bangladesh. His record speaks for itself and we all know what a great competitor he is. He’s played plenty of cricket in the sub-continent and I know he’s really excited by the challenge ahead," he said.

Having concluded the previous World Test Championship cycle with 18 wickets, Wagner brings a wealth of experience to the squad.

With the first two Tests scheduled to start on November 28, the decision to include Wagner was made promptly. The New Zealand-based Test players are set to depart for Bangladesh on Tuesday, November 21.

Although Wagner wasn't initially part of New Zealand's spin-heavy squad for the Bangladesh tour, his inclusion aligns with the team's need for experienced players. His last Test appearance coincided with New Zealand's previous Test against Sri Lanka in March.

Currently, most of the squad, which also featured in the ICC Cricket World Cup in India, is in Dubai for recovery before relocating to Sylhet next week. 

The first Test is slated to commence on November 28, followed by the second and final Test in Dhaka starting December 6.

New Zealand's updated Test squad for the Bangladesh tour

Tim Southee (C), Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell (wk), Devon Conway, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, and Neil Wagner.