AUS VS NZ Test 2024: Southee Hints at Shock Wagner Recall as O’Rourke’s Injury Raises Concerns

In the wake of Will O’Rourke’s hamstring injury during the first Test against Australia, New Zealand captain Tim Southee has left the possibility open for a surprise recall of Neil Wagner for the upcoming Test in Christchurch.
AUS VS NZ Test 2024: Southee Hints at Shock Wagner Recall as O’Rourke’s Injury Raises Concerns

On the third day, O’Rourke exited the field five balls into his eighth over due to left hamstring soreness. He did not come out onto the field for the entire of Australia’s second innings, but on day four he batted and was able to run, though he was never forced to sprint, between the wickets.

After selecting four fast bowlers on a Basin Reserve surface that spun more than he had ever seen in his 16-year Test career, Southee conceded that New Zealand might have made a mistake in their selection for the second consecutive Test match.

In the past, Hagley Oval in Christchurch has been less conducive to spin bowling and even better for pace bowling. Wagner retired after learning he would not be selected for any of the Test matches against Australia, so if O’Rourke is ruled out, New Zealand will be without a fourth seamer in the team.

However, Southee was directly asked after the game whether Wagner could be called up for Christchurch now that New Zealand was behind 1-0 in the series, and he did not rule it out.

“As of yet, we haven’t had many conversations,” Southee stated. “We’ll watch Will’s level of hygiene. The physiotherapist hasn’t indicated how serious it is or given a timeline. For the next few days, we’ll just have to wait and see how Will does. There will undoubtedly be an update in the coming day or two.

“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 has been a longtime fan favorite and has received a terrific response here over the past week, even getting a few seconds on the field.”

In light of the fact that Trent Boult has just recently started playing T20 cricket, Southee did rule out the chance of his recall.
“I don’t think his loading is up to it on the back of T20,” said Southee.

In just his second Test match, Southee defended the performance of Scott Kuggeleijn, the fourth seamer for New Zealand. Kuggeleijn had one maiden and two wickets in the opening 20 overs, but he also gave up 75 runs in those 20 overs.

In the second innings, he bowled just three overs and gave up eighteen runs. Before reaching 26 in the second innings, he also holed out to deep midwicket off Nathan Lyon for a second-ball duck in the first innings when New Zealand needed someone to bat alongside Glenn Phillips.

AUS VS NZ Test 2024: Southee Hints at Shock Wagner Recall as O’Rourke’s Injury Raises Concerns

Southee observed, “He bowled well at times.” He did a great job, taking some important wickets in the first innings, but it was difficult out there in the wind. The two Test matches he has played represent a very tiny sample size, and there is also a year-long gap between them. Coming in and having an immediate influence is difficult.”

Throughout the game, Kuggeleijn’s pace was occasionally less than 130 kph, although Southee said that the strong Wellington wind had made it difficult.

The difference in the game, according to Southee, was Cameron Green’s 174 not out and his 116-run partnership with Josh Hazlewood at the 10th wicket on the second morning. He told Green that his team’s strategy was flawed.

“I think we probably could have tried to get Green out on that second morning,” he stated. “I believe that given the way he performed the previous evening, we assumed he would emerge and make some shots. However, we could definitely try to get him out early the next morning and simplify things a little bit more than we did.”

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