New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling has been ruled out of 2nd Test against England due to a sore back. There will be doubts over the availability of Watling for WTC final against India. Notably, the 35-year old had announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket after the WTC final.
In place of BJ Watling, Wellington Firebirds player Tom Blundell will come into the playing XI as wicket-keeper.
Here’s the official announcement:
TEAM NEWS | BJ Watling is out of the second Test against England in Birmingham, after failing to overcome a sore back. Tom Blundell will come into the XI and take the gloves at @Edgbaston. #ENGvNZ https://t.co/5EWNYdktzF
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 10, 2021
The back injury has troubled Watling in the past also and although his condition has improved in the past 24 hours, it hasn’t improved enough that he can take the field for 5 days. Watling joins captain Kane Williamson (elbow) and spinner Mitchell Santner (cut finger) on the sidelines after the pair had aggravated their injuries during the drawn first Test at Lord’s.
Watling, 35, announced his retirement from all cricket before the tour began, and will now be racing against time to be fit for the World Test Championship final against India starting on Friday next week. The appearance at Lord’s was Watling’s 74th Test appearance.
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