New Zealand wicketkeeper BJ Watling has been ruled out of the second Test against England at Edgbaston due to a sore back. As a result, Tom Blundell will replace him in the XI for this game.
"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," a media release from NZC said.
This comes as a massive blow for New Zealand after their skipper Kane Williamson too was ruled out due to an elbow injury. It was announced that Tom Latham will lead the Blackcaps in his absence. Spinner Mitchell Santner too is set to miss out due to an injury.
The first Test at Lord's ended in a draw after one entire day was washed out. A win for New Zealand in this Test will see them clinch their first series win in England since 1999.
New Zealand, however, remain hopeful of having them fit for the World test Championship (WTC) final against India, which is scheduled to be played in Southampton on June 18. Watling is set to retire from the game after the WTC final.
"It's been a huge honour to represent New Zealand and in particular wear the Test baggy," the Durban-born 'keeper-batsman said while announcing his retirement.