New Zealand sweating over BJ Watling and Corey Anderson's fitness ahead of second Test
New Zealand have major fitness concerns before the Second Test against England as all-rounder Corey Anderson and wicketkeeper BJ Watling sustained injures during the first Test at Lord’s.
BJ Watling batted well in the first Test as he went on to score 61 not out and 59 in the two innings in spite of picking up a knee injury on the opening day of the match. The gloveman was rated a 50-50 chance of being fit for Friday's second Test. On the other hand, Corey Anderson suffered a back injury during the Test which saw him bowl just eight overs. He scored a fighting 67 in the game in trying to save the game for New Zealand.
New Zealand Coach Mike Hessen confirmed the injury to the two players and said that they would need to monitor their progress ahead of the second match.
"BJ's not 100%, clearly his knee is still an issue. He struggles to push off and get a lot of power so he's a 50-50 at this stage. From Corey's perspective bowling was painful and so was fielding so we'll need to monitor that."
It's an awful sense of deja vu for Watling who missed the Headingley Test two years ago after suffering a similar impact injury at Lord's when diving to affect a run out. Luke Ronchi could be in line for a Test debut at the age of 34 in case Watling remains unfit. NZ could also opt for Tom Latham as he had taken over the gloves on the opening day of the first match after Watling injured himself.
In case Anderson’s fitness does not improve, NZ will suffer a huge setback as he is important for the balance of the team. Hessen said that the bowlers were physically drained out in the second innings as they had to bowl more overs to cover up for Anderson’s injury.
“It was really the fourth day that turned it around, we felt we bowled well enough to get three or four wickets in the morning but Alastair Cook and the way Ben Stokes and Joe Root played took the game away from us. That was the turning point. As a bowling unit we were a bowler light so that put a lot of pressure on other guys so they are stiff and sore and we need to make sure come Friday they are fresh."