Ahead of the second Test, New Zealand Cricket have confirmed that skipper Kane Williamson has been ruled out with 'irritated' left-elbow before the World Test Championship final. In Williamson’s absence, the Kiwi opener Tom Latham would take over the leadership duties in Edgbaston against England.
With the first Test between England and New Zealand ending in a draw, at the Home of Cricket - Lord’s - New Zealand have been dealt with their own share of injury issues. Earlier on Wednesday, the BlackCaps head coach Gary Stead confirmed that left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the clash and Stead has now revealed that skipper Kane Williamson is also ruled out of the series finale against England.
In Williamson’s absence, the BlackCaps would be led by veteran opener Tom Latham, ahead of the pacer Tim Southee, who in the past has led the side in the limited-overs format. Alongside that, Will Young would take over the role as the No.3 batsman in the New Zealand setup in Edgbaston.
Stead added that the decision stems from the fact that New Zealand would play in the World Test Championship final, against India later this month, with just two days in between the second Test and the final. The BlackCaps coach also insisted that the injection would relieve the irritation, keeping him fresh ahead of the final.
"It's not an easy decision for Kane to have 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,” Stead said, reported Cricbuzz.
"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,” he added.