Opinion: Blackcaps must call on Matt Henry for Boxing Day test

OPINION: Cantabrian Matt Henry arrived back to New Zealand in late September after a record breaking county season for Kent in the UK.

Since then the 27-year-old has been running drinks on for the Blackcaps in the UAE and the first test here against Sri Lanka.

He was the overseas signing of the summer in the UK's County cricket, taking 75 wickets in 21 innings with an average of 15.48.

Henry's stellar campaign was a key reason why his Kent side reached promotion to the top tier.

It's absolutely criminal that Henry has been nothing but a net bowler and a fellow teammate who can be called on to bring out some water and pass on messages from the dressing room.

That must stop on December 26. Matt Henry must play the Boxing Day test.

He's been forever on the brink of getting a solid run in the team, often considered but rarely picked ahead of the frontline trio of Neil Wagner, Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead said on Thursday that Henry will get a good amount of cricket over the summer  - so why not give him an opportunity to stake his claim on his home track against Sri Lanka.

Boult hasn't looked the same since the first test against Pakistan in the UAE.

The spearhead has just five wickets in three tests and was poor in the favourable first innings conditions at the Basin.

Southee and Boult bowled over 50 overs in the Wellington test with Wagner bowling 43 so there is an issue with fatigue.  But this decision shouldn't be based on fatigue.  It should be on Wagner's form alone.

He struggled in Wellington when his tactical and only real option of short bowling didn't work.

He took 0-100 in the second innings and a total of two wickets for 175 runs in the test.

That's a far cry from his returns of summers past.  Has Wagner been figured out by the opposition? If the short ball doesn't work then Wagner is ineffective because he lacks swing and pace.

You know what you're going to get with Henry, a quick bowler who constantly tops 140 kmph and bowls a full length outside off with a shade of movement off the pitch.

With Wagner you're going to get a left armer bowling over the wicket to a right hander - with the ball dug in short on a leg stump line at 130kmph. I know who I'd be picking.

The Cantabrian is chomping at the bit for a chance to prove his worth to the new coach; he should get a chance to do it against Sri Lanka at his Hagley Oval on Boxing Day.