Ahead of the final test, New Zealand is struck with another blow as Trent Boult is dropped out due to injury. Boult has been spearheading the pace attack for New Zealand and without him, it would be rather complex for New Zealand to maintain good pressure on South Africa. The bowler failed to recover from the injury at the first test that kept him out of the second test in Wellington. Another bowler Tim Southee will be also absent from the match due to a hamstring injury.
New Zealand will play with Neil Wagner and Matt Henry. Henry played his last test in November last year at Seddon Park against Pakistan. While, Neil Wagner has been the top bowler in the current series. He had nine wickets so far in the series at an average of 29.44. On batting fronts, absence of Ross Taylor since the first test is a dent on the team.
For the final test, Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham will play as all-rounder with substantial contribution to bowling. Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner will play was specialist spinners. The surface at Hamilton is expected to be slow and turning. This would help spin options. Trent Boult has been an important addition to the New Zealand test squad. It would be the fourth time when the team will play without both Boult and Southee.
Team selector Gavin Larsen said Boult is “extremely disappointed” to miss the test as he did everything possible to get himself ready. The bowler was in the training but the medical team confirmed that he would take some more time to be fit again. Larsen now depends on Wagner and Henry. The opponents, South Africa has injury concerns of its own. Quinton de Kock the top batsman injured his fingers, but lately, it is confirmed that he will play the match.
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