On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed that the veteran wicket-keeper batsman, BJ Watling has been ruled out of the second Test against England. On Wednesday, NZC had confirmed that skipper Kane Williamson had been ruled out from the second Test against England as he had irritated left elbow. He has been managing the injury since first missing matches in March this year and coach Gary Stead said it was still troubling him.
In a statement regarding the same, NZC said, “BLACKCAPS wicket-keeper BJ Watling is a late withdrawal from the second Test against England in Birmingham, after failing to overcome a sore back. The injury has troubled Watling in the past and although it has improved in the past 24 hours, it hasn’t improved enough to be confident of him getting through a full Test behind the stumps. Wellington Firebirds wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell will take the gloves and bat six in his 11th Test.”
On the other hand, Gary Stead said, “It is not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it is the right one. He has had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he has been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximize his recovery. The decision has been made very much with the ICC World Test Championship Final at Southampton in mind and we are confident he will be ready for that match starting on June 18.”
Tom Latham has appointed to lead the team for the third time in Williamson’s absence, while Will Young comes into the starting XI and will bat at number three.
The first Test between England and New Zealand had ended in a draw and both the teams are now locking horns with each other in the second Test, commenced on Thursday at Edgbaston. After the series against England, New Zealand will play India in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), scheduled to be commencing on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.