Southee out of Wellington Test as wife poised to give birth

Tim Southee

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, CMC – Leading Black Caps seamer, Tim Southee, has been ruled out of the opening Test against West Indies starting here Friday, as he awaits the birth of his second child.
The 28-year-old has played 57 Tests and was expected to form part of a dangerous pace trio alongside left-armers Trent Boult and Neil Wagner in the Basin Reserve opener.
“He’s staying at home and we’re very supportive of that. Family is the priority. We had a timeline and it hasn’t quite worked out. Briar (wife) is due any day now,” head coach Mike Hesson said.
Southee has taken 204 Test wickets and is a vastly experienced campaigner, having made his international debut nearly a decade ago.
His omission opens up the door for either Neil Henry, who has played eight Tests, and the uncapped Lockie Ferguson.
The 25-year-old Henry will be the front-runner, having taken 22 wickets since making his debut two years ago against England.
Ferguson, however, has impressed of recent and looks to be in sharp form, proven by his five-wicket haul for New Zealand A in the recent three-day tour match against West Indies in Lincoln, when he finished with a seven-wicket match haul.
Hesson said the headache was a good one for the Black Caps to have.
“We’ve got plenty of time [to make a decision] and it’s nice to have a couple of very good options. Matt did very well in the last Test match he played against South Africa and Lockie is probably bowling as well as he ever has,” Hesson pointed out.
“It depends whether we want to go with extra pace or we think it might nip around a little bit and we want someone with Matt’s control. It’ll be a tough decision but both are going nicely.”

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