New Zealand Cricket have confirmed that captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the second Test against England, set to be played from June 10 onwards. The decision has been taken after the 30-year-old failed to fully recover from the injury he sustained on his left elbow. Although the Kiwis would have wanted their star player to be available for the decisive Test against England at Edgbaston, it seems like the team management do not want to take any risk and have prioritized the all-important finals of World Test Championship against India scheduled to be played from June 18-22 in Southampton.
Tom Latham to lead a different-looking Kiwi line-up
The left-handed opener has been appointed as the skipper in the absence of Kane Williamson. Tom Latham is one of the most experienced players in the Kiwi line-up with 57 Tests to his name. With Mitchell Santner also ruled out, New Zealand will have to make a few changes to their side with Trent Boult also likely to return to the playing XI at Edgbaston.
NZ head coach Gary Stead had earlier said, "With an eye to the [WTC] final we want to make sure the key bowlers who we think will take part in that game are fresh, raring to go and ready for that first ball of the match versus India." Hence, it is expected that someone like Matt Henry or Doug Bracewell could also come in place of Tim Southee or Kyle Jamieson. While Ajaz Patel is expected to replace Mitchell Santner, 28-year-old batsman Will Young is in line to fill the shoes of Kane Williamson.