NZ pacer Wagner ruled out of second Test after brave show in first

New Zealand pace bowler Neil Wagner, whose dismissal of Pakistan’s Fawad Alam and Faheem Ashraf in Wednesday’s last session sealed the first Test for the Kiwis, has been ruled out of the second Test that begins here on January 3.

Wagner, who ended 2020 as the world’s No. 4 ranked bowler, put up a brave show in the first Test by continuing to bowl despite breaking two toes and requiring pain-killing injections during the game.

The Kiwis were facing a draw with Pakistan just four down when they entered the final session on the last day of the first Test at Mount Maunganui. However, Wagner removed centurion Alam and followed it up with the wicket of the last recognised batsman Ashraf to dent Pakistan resistance.

Wagner has been asked to rest for six weeks.

The Kiwis may bring in Matt Henry to replace him.

“I need to get down there and have a look at it (the pitch),” Stead was quoted as saying by on arrival in Christchurch on Thursday.

“My understanding is we can expect a normal pacy, bouncy pitch here at Hagley (Oval) which we always get. Hopefully we get that again. Depending on what the surface looks like there is the option of playing both of them (the all-rounders Daryl Mitchell and Henry) as well… but that’s something that we’ll decide when we get closer to match time.”