Kane Williamson will sit out the second Test against England as the Kiwis look to win their first Test series in the country since 1999. The loss of their skipper is a big one for the visitors, with opener Tom Latham leading the side.
England will take on New Zealand in the second and final Test of the series at Edgbaston today, with Kane Williamson’s exclusion confirmed on the eve of the Test.
The 30-year-old was ruled out of the game because of his persistent elbow injury. Blackcaps coach Gary Stead confirmed the same on Wednesday, admitting the decision to exclude their star batsman and captain was not an easy one.
“It's not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it's the right one. He's had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he's been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise his recovery.”
This is not the first time Kane Williamson has had to sit out due to his elbow struggles. The batsman missed the home series against Bangladesh in March for the same reason.
Will Young will replace him at the No. 3 slot. The top-order batsman has played two tests against West Indies to date and averages 24 in the format.
Kane Williamson expected to be fit for WTC Final
In a piece of news that will come as a big relief to Kiwi fans, Kane Williamson is likely to return to the side when New Zealand take on India in the World Test Championship final on June 18.
Stand-in skipper Tom Latham confirmed the news as he backed Kane Williamson to be fully fit for the marquee clash.
"I'm sure he'll be back [for the final]. From our point of view, it's a precautionary thing. We'd love him to be available for this game but obviously, we've got the eye on the final in a week's time, so for Kane, it's about giving himself the best opportunity to be fully fit and available for that game. The decision was made for him to rest and get that right for what we have coming up."
Kane Williamson hasn’t had the best of times in England. He failed to get going in the first Test, and Williamson will now have his back against the wall when he comes up against India next week.