Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain, has been ruled out of the second Test against England at Edgbaston because of a persistent elbow injury.
Williamson had to miss an ODI series against Bangladesh earlier this year because of the same problem, which also caused him to miss the start of the 2021 IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Tom Latham, the regular vice-captain, will lead the team in Williamson’s absence, as he did against Australia at the SCG in January 2020 and West Indies in Wellington in December.
“It’s not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it’s the right one,” Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach, said. “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.”
The injury is not expected to rule him out of the World Test Championship final against India, which starts on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl. “The decision has been made very much with the ICC World Test Championship final at Southampton in mind and we are confident he will be ready for that match,” Stead added.
Williamson will be replaced in the New Zealand side by Will Young, the top-order batter who won both of his Test caps to date in the home series against West Indies in December.
Young prepared for the series by playing four County Championship matches for Durham, scoring hundreds in two of his three most recent innings. He will bat at No. 3, with Latham and Devon Conway continuing to open the batting.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.