Ahead of the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) against India from June 18, the New Zealand team has suffered a double blow. Kane Williamson, who is suffering from a left elbow injury, has been ruled out of the second Test against England starting tomorrow. Before the Kiwi captain, spinner Mitchell Santner will also miss this Test due to a finger injury.
Captain Kane battling fitnessSantner suffered a finger injury during the first Test at Lord’s last week and the finger started bleeding. Williamson also suffered an elbow injury during the same Test. However, Captain Kane has been concerned about his fitness for a long time. At the beginning of the year, he could not even play the ODI series against Bangladesh. In the initial matches of the IPL, he had to sit out for the same reason.
Tom Latham will be the captainIn Williamson’s absence, the team’s vice-captain Tom Latham will lead, although he has previously captained the Wellington Test against West Indies in January 2020 and December. Fast bowler Trent Boult is available for the final match of the series and New Zealand may rest one of the other key bowlers Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson. Two of these bowlers can also be rested. In the fast bowling department, Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell and Jacob Tuffy can get a chance.
Kiwis preparing for WTC
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said before the second match, “They (the bowlers) are all in good shape, but that does not mean that they will play in the next match. With the WTC final in mind, we want to make sure that our premier bowlers are fresh and ready to show their charisma with the first ball against India. We have come here with a team of 20 players. Many of our players have experience in Test cricket. Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Doug Bracewell, Ajaz Patel are players who have played Tests in the past.
[Attribution to NBT]