Pacer Matt Hendry has been called up for New Zealand Test squad for the first match of the two-match series against India, starting February 21, at Wellington on Friday as cover for Neil Wagner, who is awaiting the birth of his child, New Zealand Cricket stated on their social media accounts.

“Matt Henry has been called into the Blackcaps Test squad as cover for Neil Wagner who is awaiting the birth of his child. Henry will arrive in Wellington this evening,” read the statement.

Wagner’s absence – who was impressive during New Zealand’s last Test series in Australia – comes as a major blow for the hosts who would be looking to maintain the winning momentum when they switch formats after the 3-0 drubbing of India in the ODI series.

Henry, who was part of the Australia series, was not initially picked for the India series which will also see the return of a fit-again Trent Boult. Also making a return to the squad, announced two days back, is left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel in place of Mitchell Santner while Daryl Mitchell is an allrounder cover.

Kyle Jamieson who made an impressive debut in the three-match ODI series vs India earlier this month also retained his place in the Test squad. He was also named as the replacement for Lockie Ferguson midway through the Australia Test series.

The first Test in Wellington will also be the 100th for veteran Ross Taylor who will become the first international cricketer to have achieved the landmark in all formats of the game.

Full Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell.