New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson is set to miss the second Test against England, starting at Trent Bridge on Friday, as he tested positive for COVID-19 the day before the match. Williamson took a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) as he felt some minor symptoms on Thursday, and will be isolated from the team for the next five days.
Tom Latham will lead the team in his absence. Meanwhile, Hamish Rutherford has been brought into the squad who has been currently playing county cricket for Leicestershire and will join the team in Nottingham on Friday morning.
We’re all feeling for him at this time: Stead
“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match,” Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach, said. “We’re all feeling for him at this time and know how disappointed he will be. “Hamish was with the Test squad earlier in the tour and has been playing for the Leicestershire Foxes in the T20 Vitality Blast.”
Second player out for New Zealand
Along with Williamson, the Kiwis are also dealing with all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme’s injury in the first Test. The 35-year-old suffered a torn right plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. Grandhomme is set to miss 10 to 12 weeks, which means he will not feature in New Zealand’s tours to Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands.
“It’s a real shame for Colin to suffer this injury so early in the series,” Stead added. “He’s a massive part of our Test side and we’ll certainly miss him. It’s great to be able to call on someone like Michael who’s been with the squad for the past month and is match ready.”
For replacing Colin de Grandhomme, New Zealand brought in off-spinning allrounder Michael Bracewell for the rest of the series. Bracewell was at Lord’s as a replacement for Henry Nicholls, who has a calf injury in the second Test.
The English team currently leads the series as they registered a five-wicket win in the first Test. Former England captain Joe Root scored a scintillating century to win the match for England.