ENG vs NZ 2nd Test: New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has been ruled out of the second Test in the ongoing Test series between England and New Zealand in Birmingham.
Watling pulled out of the match owing to his back injury that doesn’t seem to have gotten better enough for him to play. The sore back has been troubling the wicketkeeper for a while, and although there is improvement in his condition, he is yet to fully recover to play.
“The injury has troubled Watling in the past and although it has improved in the past 24 hours, it hasn’t improved enough to be confident of him getting through a full Test behind the stumps,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) informed in an official statement.
Wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell, who will be playing his 11th Test, will take the gloves on his behalf. Blundell made his Test debut in December 2017 in a match against West Indies. Thus far, he has played 10 Tests, registering two tons and an equal number of half-centuries to his name.
“Wellington Firebirds wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell will take the gloves and bat six in his 11th Test,” NZC updated.
The Black Caps are already without skipper Kane Williamson, who had to miss the Test due to his elbow injury that hasn’t recovered yet. His injury is currently under the supervision of the medical team and coach Gary Stead said that they have taken the decision to rest him keeping in view the WTC final.
Following the completion of the ENG vs NZ 2nd Test, the last match of the series, the New Zealand team will square off against India in the primal ICC World Test Championship final starting June 18 in Southampton.