Wagner has been a fan favorite for a long time: Tim Southee © AFP

Tim Southee, New Zealand’s Test skipper, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of Neil Wagner earning a shock recall to the Test XI for the second game of the series against Australia. Wagner recently retired from international cricket after being told he wouldn’t be picked in the XI against Australia in the ongoing series. However, a hamstring injury to Will O’Rourke during the first Test has raised slim hopes of the pacer being recalled to the XI.

O’Rourke walked off the field during Australia’s second innings following a hamstring injury and didn’t bowl again. However, he did come out to bat in the New Zealand second innings. Wagner did walk out as a substitute fielder during the Test to a great response from the crowd.

“We haven’t had a lot of discussions as yet,” Southee said after New Zealand’s loss. “We’ll see how Will scrubs up. The physio hasn’t sort of put a timeframe 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

“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.”

However, one player Southee definitely did rule out of contention was long-time new-ball partner Trent Boult. The 34-year-old hasn’t played a Test match since June 2022 and has only been playing T20 cricket recently. The skipper was also less critical of Scott Kuggeleijn, who in his second Test match wasn’t quite able to lift the slack after O’Rourke had to walk off the field.

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