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Latham admits Henry dilemma, praises New Zealand squad's depth

New Zealand captain Tom Latham (left) leads his team off the field after the victory in the first Test against South Africa. (AFP)
New Zealand captain Tom Latham (left) leads his team off the field after the victory in the first Test against South Africa. (AFP)

Henry claimed 7-23 in the first innings to set up New Zealand's victory by an innings and 276 runs at the Hagley Oval



By Reuters

Published: Sun 20 Feb 2022, 12:44 AM

New Zealand stand-in skipper Tom Latham conceded fast bowler Matt Henry’s stellar performance in the opening Test against South Africa has created a selection dilemma ahead of the second match next week.

Playing his first Test in eight months only because Trent Boult is away on paternity leave, Henry claimed 7-23 in the first innings to set up New Zealand’s victory by an innings and 276 runs at the Hagley Oval.

The right-arm pacer finished with nine wickets to go with an unbeaten 58 at number 11 that fetched him the man-of-the-match award.

Boult is set to return for the final Test and has been a key cog in New Zealand’s preferred four-man pace attack which also includes Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner.

“It’s a great problem to have I think in terms of guys who are pushing their case for selection and guys stepping up when they take their opportunity,” Latham said at Hagley Oval.

“We’ll have to assess that over the coming days, but they’re certainly good discussions to be having.”

Latham has seen Canterbury team mate Henry produce similar displays in domestic cricket and was not surprised with the 30-year-old quick’s latest heroics.

“We certainly know what a valuable member he is of this side and I guess for him to turn up and probably know he’s going to be playing, to bowl the way he did (was outstanding).”

New Zealand missed regular skipper Kane Williamson through injury and are without batsman and former captain Ross Taylor, who quit Test cricket after the Bangladesh series.

They still wrapped up victory in seven sessions in what was their first Test in 14 years without at least one of Williamson, Taylor or Boult.

“It’s great for the side. It’s been documented that it’s a long time ago since we hadn’t seen any of those three names,” Latham said of the squad’s strength in depth.

“(They were) such a vital part of the side and it’s testament to the depth that we’re creating in New Zealand cricket that guys who haven’t played a lot can step up and come and perform straight away.”


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