Neil Wagner might take U-turn on retirement to rescue New Zealand in 2nd Test | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Neil Wagner might take U-turn on retirement to rescue New Zealand in 2nd Test, AUS captain Pat Cummins reacts

Mar 03, 2024 05:39 PM IST

New Zealand suffered a crushing 172-run defeat in first Test against Australia on Sunday as skipper Tim Southee said the door was not shut on Wagner.

Neil Wagner might make a U-turn days after his retirement to help the New Zealand team who are in a spot of bother after fast bowler Will O'Rourke sustained an injury in the first Test against Australia. The hosts are awaiting an update on O'Rourke's injury and if things don't turn out well then New Zealand might be tempted to recall Wagner to the squad for the second and final Test against Australia.

Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket before the start of Test series against Australia.
Neil Wagner announced his retirement from international cricket before the start of Test series against Australia.

Wagner announced his retirement before the Test series after he got to know that he wouldn't be in the playing XI for the opening Test. However, the hosts suffered a hammering in the hands of Australia in a 172-run defeat on Sunday as New Zealand skipper Tim Southee said the door was not shut on Wagner.

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It was an emotional decision for Wagner as bid a tearful adieu to international cricket. The South African-born left-arm paceman claimed 260 wickets in 64 Test matches.

Southee talked about the O'Rourke's injury and asserted that the team management will wait for a couple of days for an update on him before taking a decision on his replacement.

"We haven't had a lot of discussions as yet. We'll see how Will scrubs up. The physio hasn't sort of put a time-frame on it or how bad it is. We'll just wait and see how Will goes over the next couple of days. I'm sure there'll be an update in the next 24 hours," said Southee.

"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's) had a great reception here over the last week where he got a couple of moments on the field and obviously he's been a fan favourite for a long time," said the home skipper.

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Southee though was sure that pacer Trent Boult, who last played in a Test in June 2022, won't play the second game.

"I don't think his loading is up to it on the back of T20," Southee said.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Pat Cummins also reacted to New Zealand's temptation to recall Wagner as he also backed the decision.

"World's shortest retirement. I mean, why not? If he's your next best bowler that you think is going to perform, then go for it. I've faced him before. It'd be good to see. He's high energy. It's been good fun chatting to him each morning out here, so see how he goes," said Cummins.

Australia have retained the Trans-Tasman Trophy for the 12th successive time after ensuring that they won't lose the series with their victory in the series-opener.

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