New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the second England-New Zealand Test match owing to his elbow injury. Wicketkeeper and opening batsman Tom Latham will lead the team in his absence while Will Young will replace him in the XI.
In some relief to New Zealand fans, the charismatic leader is likely to be fit for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India.
While announcing the news, Black Caps coach Garry Stead said Kane Williamson had taken an injection to help him with ‘irritation’ while batting.
“It’s not an easy decision for Kane to h ave to miss a Test, but we think it’s the right one. He’s had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he’s been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise 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,” said Stead in a statement.Advertisement
Young, 28, has been with the New Zealand Test squad for a long time now. The right-handed batsman has played two Tests so far, collecting 48 runs at an average of 24.
He has also featured in 85 first-class matches and has scored over 5000 runs at 42.64. Meanwhile, Latham has the captaincy experience of two Tests, with one win and a loss.
Kane Williamson maintained top spot in ICC Test rankings
Despite scoring just 14 runs in the first Test, Kane Williamson maintained his crown in the ICC Test rankings for a batsman on Wednesday.
With 895 points, he sits comfortably ahead of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Joe Root, and Virat Kohli in the top 5.
Although the second Test doesn’t carry any points in the next WTC cycle, New Zealand would have loved a match-winning knock from their skipper ahead of the summit clash.
Spinner Ajaz Patel, all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and Trent Boult are the other expected changes in the Kiwi team for the second Test as the visitors look to manage the workload of their key players.
The match will kick off on Thursday morning at Edgbaston.