Black Caps spin bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the second test against England at Edgbaston while captain Kane Williamson is in doubt.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead confirmed today that Santner will miss the test starting tomorrow because of a cut on his left index finger.
Santner is coming off an opening test at Lord's where he scored a duck in the first innings and failed to capture a wicket from 23 overs of bowling and Stead said the injury 'definitely hampered his ability' in the draw at Lord's.
If Stead wants to retain a spin bowler then Ajaz Patel looks the likely replacement for Santner to play his ninth test for New Zealand. After looking at the Edgbaston wicket Stead said "it looked flat and looked brown so expecting it to be medium pace, not expecting it to be a real quick one or anything. Probably take turn later in the game I imagine."
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Williamson is in doubt due to an elbow injury.
"His elbow is still niggling him a wee bit. We've had some more treatment on that and we just want to make sure the best thing for him is playing in this match vs taking a little bit more time to be ready with training and the way he needs to train," Stead said.
It will be a big decision whether Williamson will play or not as New Zealand prepare for the World Test Championship final against India which starts next week.
Stead confirmed today that not all three pace bowlers from the first test will feature in Edgbaston. Either Tim Southee, Neil Wagner or Kyle Jamieson will make way for the returning Trent Boult who missed the Lord's test while completing isolation upon arrival in England. Stead said the left-armer is available and likely to return.
"We want to make sure the key bowlers who we think will take part in that game a refreshed and ready to go for that first ball of the match against India so we're certainly having discussions with the guys around what's best for them."
"Trent's back and available to be selected and it's likely we'll play him in this game. So it's good news for us," he said.
"I think it's best thing for Trent to get out there, get that Duke ball in his hand and show us what he's capable of."