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New Zealand's Watling ruled out of second Test against England with back injury


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BIRMINGHAM: New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling was on Thursday ruled out of the ongoing second Test against England here after failing to recover from a sore back.

Wicketkeeper batsman Tom Blundell will take Watling's place in the side.

"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," New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the 35-year-old Watling, who has featured in 74 Tests, 28 ODIs and five T20Is for New Zealand, had announced that he will end his over-decade-long career in all forms of cricket after the World Test Championship final against India.

New Zealand will be without the services of regular skipper Kane Williamson as he too was also ruled out on the eve of the match on Wednesday to give much-needed rest to his "irritated" left elbow ahead of the WTC final.

The first match of the two-Test series against England ended in a draw.

After the second Test, the Blackcaps head to Southhampton for the WTC final, beginning June 18.

 

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)