NZ paceman Henry replaces Bracewell for second test
CHRISTCHURCH – New Zealand pace bowler Matt Henry will come in for the injured Doug Bracewell in the second test against Australia, captain Brendon McCullum said on Friday.
Bracewell has sustained a rotator cuff injury in his right shoulder and will miss the final match of the two-test series, starting on Saturday at Hagley Oval. Australia won the opener by an innings and 52 runs in Wellington earlier this week.
McCullum, who will play his 101st and final test, said the only remaining decision to be made was whether they play four seamers or go with three front-line pace bowlers and off-spinner Mark Craig.
“Matt Henry will come in for Doug Bracewell and it’s just trying to work out whether we play Mark Craig or Neil Wagner and that’s the decision we’ve got to make,” McCullum told reporters on Friday.
“The pitch looks good. It looks like it’s got a nice healthy covering of grass I’m sure that both team’s bowling lineups will relish it.”
The pitch has been the subject of much debate since Australia exploited the best of the bowling conditions at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, reducing the hosts to 51-5 inside 12 overs after winning the toss.
“It’s probably not quite as hard as the Basin,” McCullum added. “I thought the Basin was a really good cricket wicket. It did a lot in that first session and then dried out a little bit quicker than what a team who’s been bowled out for 180 wanted.
“It’s not going to be necessarily a pleasant time out there with bat in hand (but) I think it will go around for a while. “I’m sure this one will be a good contest which will hopefully end up in a result. Hopefully for us.”
New Zealand (likely): Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Mark Craig, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult -Reuters