Brent Arnel replaces injured Andy McKay
Northern Districts fast bowler Brent Arnel has replaced the injured left-arm seamer Andy McKay in the squad for the one-off Test against Bangladesh in Hamilton starting on Monday. McKay started experiencing pain in his foot during the one-day series and the team physiotherapist Kate Stalker has said he has been rested as a precautionary measure.
"This pain intensified today during training, and a decision was made not to play him in the Test," Stalker told NZPA.
McKay, 29, made an impressive start to his ODI career, taking five wickets at an average of 21 but it was his pace which stood out. He reportedly clocked 147 kph in the Napier ODI and the captain Daniel Vettori said he was one of the quickest bowlers he had faced in the Twenty20 HRV Cup, even comparing him to Shane Bond.
Mark Greatbatch, the coach, too felt it wasn't worth risking him for the Test. "It would be unwise to risk aggravating his injury for the sake of a one-off Test match," Greatbatch said. "We want to make sure he is fit again as soon as possible. We are all disappointed for Andy, but at this stage he needs a chance to rest his foot and recover properly."
Arnel, a right-arm seamer, has yet to make his international debut after being in the national reckoning for the last couple of years. He topped the State Championship wicket charts with 33 wickets in 2007-08 and toured India with the A squad in 2008. He was also called-up to the Test squad for the home series against India a few months later but did not get a game.
Arnel is currently the third-highest wicket-taker in the first-class Plunkett Shield with 20 wickets in four games, and Greatbatch said he was finally being rewarded. "Brent has been in the wings for a while and was 12th man for New Zealand during last year's Indian tour," he said. "He has been doing a lot of extra bowling recently and has been performing well at domestic cricket."