BJ Watling ruled out of 2nd Test against England

BJ Watling
BJ Watling
Rudransh Khurana

Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has been ruled out of the second England-New Zealand Test after failing to overcome a sore back.

The injury has troubled BJ Watling in the past, and although it has improved in the past 24 hours, it hasn't improved enough to allow him to keep wickets in a high-intensity Test match. 30-year-old Tom Blundell will take the gloves and bat at six as a replacement.

Blundell has played 10 Tests so far, scoring 538 runs at an average of over 38. The right-hander also has two hundreds and as many half-centuries to his name.

BJ Watling's exclusion from this Test means the Black Caps will field a fairly new-look side at Edgbaston.

Skipper Kane Williamson is already out with an injury to his left elbow, and Will Young replaces him in the batting order. Ajaz Patel and Trent Boult have also been included in the team in place of Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee, respectively.

The first Test at Lord's was drawn after England shut shop on the fifth day in their chase of the competitive 273-run target set by the visitors.

BJ Watling scored 1 (11) and 15* (26) in the two innings. England has won the toss and opted to bat first in the second Test.

BJ Watling set to retire after WTC final

BJ Watling has already announced that the ongoing two-Test series against Joe Root's team and the ensuing World Test Championship (WTC) final against India will be his swansong in international cricket.

The dependable gloveman has scored more than 3700 runs in Test cricket across 74 matches at an average of 37.89. He has smashed eight tons, one double-century and 19 fifties.

New Zealand will hope that the 35-year-old recovers in time for the high-octane clash, which will begin in Southampton on June 18.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar


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