New Zealand have picked Matt Henry as a replacement for Tim Southee, who is expecting the birth of his child, in the XI for the first Test against West Indies in Wellington, which starts from Friday. Henry was picked over Auckland fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, although captain Kane Williamson admitted the team management had considered the prospect of selecting Ferguson, who had been called up as cover for Southee last week. New Zealand had also added George Worker to their ranks once Southee’s unavailability was confirmed, although Worker does not find a place in the XI. The home team will have only one debutant on Friday, as Tom Blundell steps into the wicketkeeper’s slot in place of the injured BJ Watling.
Henry last played a Test for New Zealand against South Africa in March this year, taking five wickets in the game.
“He’s been playing well for a long time and hasn’t had the opportunities that he’s deserved. He’s a different bowler to Lockie and has been bowling with good pace, does tend to move the ball well and it’s exciting for Matt,” Williamson said. “He’s been waiting for an opportunity and doing all the right things, and performed well in our last Test match. He was outstanding.”
New Zealand XI for first Test
Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.