TODAY |

Williamson in doubt, Santner out for Black Caps for second England Test

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson is in doubt for the second and deciding cricket Test against England.

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Meanwhile Mitchell Santner has been ruled out after cutting his index finger. Source: Breakfast

He has an elbow injury, and a call will be made on Thursday on whether he takes part in the match, which starts tomorrow night in Birmingham.

Seamer Trent Boult will return to the side after missing the drawn first Test at Lord's.

Spinner Mitchell Santner has been ruled out after reopening a cut in his left index finger in the opening Test.

Coach Gary Stead confirmed Boult would play but said Williamson's injury was a concern.

"Another decision we'll have to make is around Kane, his elbow is still niggling away a wee bit.

"We've had some more treatment on that, and we want to make sure it's the best thing for him, playing in this match versus taking a bit more time to be ready and training the way he needs to train."

Stead said several players were in contention to join the bowling attack for Birmingham.

Mitchell Santner. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've got a squad of 20 and a lot of guys have played test cricket before, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Doug Bracewell, Ajaz Patel… we're having those discussions and we'll make that call before our final training so everyone is clear."

Stead confirmed Boult will return to the playing side and said at least one of the paceman from Lord's will miss out on the second Test. That could be Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner or allrounder Colin de Grandhomme.

"Trent is back and available to be selected and it's likely we'll play him in this game. It's good news for us, and things changed from the information we had initially. It's the best thing for Trent to get out there, get that Dukes ball in his hand and show us what he's capable of.

"It's a bit of a unique situation with the Test finishing a couple of days ago and another one starting the day after tomorrow… with a squad of 20 we had half training quite hard and half having the day off.

"They [bowlers] have all scrubbed up pretty well, [but] it doesn't necessarily mean they will play in the next match. With an eye to the final we want to make sure the key bowlers who we think will take part in that game are fresh, raring to go and ready for that first ball of the match versus India.

"We're still yet to make a final decision, but we're certainly having discussions with them about what's best for them given training loads, playing loads and readiness for that match."

rnz.co.nz