New Zealand’s left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner is doubtful for the three-match Test series against South Africa after fracturing his left ring finger in the Ford Trophy game for Otago Volts against Auckland on February 1.
Kiwis coach Mike Hesson stated Wagner’s injury will take around four to six weeks to recuperate.
“THE PRELIMINARY EVALUATION IS THAT NEIL WOULD REQUIRE 4 TO 6 WEEKS FOR RESTORATION, HOWEVER WE’LL BE READY TO MAKE A GREATER JUDGEMENT ON THAT WITHIN THE SUBSEQUENT COUPLE OF WEEKS,” HESSON SAID.
The Test series between New Zealand and South Africa is scheduled from March 8.
Hesson also expressed the team members are eager to have Wagner in the side to strengthen the pace bowling department before saying it’ll take at least couple of weeks to decide upon his possible return.
“NEIL’S AN ESSENTIAL MEMBER OF OUR CHECK FACET AND HE’S CLEARLY DETERMINED TO PLAY IN SUCH A GIANT COLLECTION, SO WE’LL DO ALL THE THINGS WE ARE ABLE TO TO GET HIM AGAIN ON THE PARK AS QUICKLY AS DOABLE,” HESSON ADDED.
The Pretoria-born Wagner, who made his Test debut in 2012 against the West Indies, has played 29 Tests for New Zealand, in which he has picked 118 wickets at an average of 28.58.
According to reports, the 25-year-old right-arm fast bowler Lockie Ferguson could replace Wagner if he gets ruled out.
“He [Ferguson] is part of the wider picture. He’s gone really well and bowled superbly at Eden Park, bowled with good gas and was demanding and was at the batsman and bowled very good lines to right and left handers,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said.
On the other hand, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi has been inducted in the side against Australia for the final One-Day international game of Chappell-Hadlee series, scheduled on Sunday.
“His advancement has been excellent. He’s one name that will be in the melting pot when we have those discussions,” Larsen added.
Kiwi opener Martin Guptill, who was sidelined for the second ODI due to a hamstring injury, is doubtful for the final game in Hamilton
“MARTIN HAS MADE PROGRESS IN THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS BUT IT’S NOT YET CLEAR WHETHER HE’LL BE AVAILABLE FOR SELECTION,” KIWIS’ LARSEN Concluded.
The second ODI was washed out in Napier on Thursday. New Zealand is currently leading the three-match series 1-0.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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