New Zealand’s first-choice spinner Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against England due to a knee injury. The left-arm spinner will miss the first Day-Night Test that will be played in New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland on 22nd March.
Mitchell Santner has been suffering from a knee problem for a long time and might also miss the Indian Premier League (IPL). Chennai Super Kings will be hoping he can regain full fitness to take part in the upcoming IPL season. He also will play in NatWest T20 Blast representing Derbyshire. Leg-spinner Todd Astle has been as a replacement for Santner in the Test squad for the first game. New Zealand Chief Selector Gavin Larsen stated that Astle can provide valuable runs with the bat and was preferred over Ish Sodhi.
New Zealand will be delighted to see their first-choice keeper BJ Watling regain full fitness and become available for selection. Watling has been out of action for almost six months. Tom Blundell has been impressive as a replacement for Watling during this period. Both are included in the setup for the two-match Test series.
Chief Selector Gavin Larsen said that BJ Watling is a world-class performer for the side in Test cricket and adds a lot of value to the side. He stated that Tom Blundell has done a fantastic job as a replacement for Watling and will retain his place in the lineup.
New Zealand will also be pleased with the news that premier batsman Ross Taylor is expected to fit and available for the first game of the Test series against England. Taylor suffered a thigh injury during the five-match one-day series played against England.
New Zealand Squad:Kane Williamson (c), Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Jeet Raval, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk)