With the mega ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final just one week away, New Zealand will be resting some of their key players for the second and final Test against England, starting on June 10, as they want to keep their key players fresh for the big clash against India next week.
New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner has been ruled of the second Test against England due to a finger injury, while the skipper Kane Williamson is being troubled by his elbow which has become a cause of concern for the Kiwis ahead of the WTC 2021 Final against India starting on June 18.
However, the veteran pacer Trent Boult is now available for the selection for the final Test against England which enables New Zealand to rest one of their other key bowlers – Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, or Kyle Jamieson and head coach Stead admitted the equation.
Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell, and uncapped Jacob Duffy are likely to be the replacements for the pacers Southee, Wagner, and Jamieson for the series decider against England.
Ahead of the final Test from Thursday in Edgbaston, Stead has admitted that New Zealand is thinking of resting the key bowlers who are going to play in the WTC Final against England in Southampton in order to keep them fresh and ready to hunt in the title clash next week.
Stead said, “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 (WTC) 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.”
The head coach further said, “We've got a squad of 20 obviously. So, a lot of guys have played Test cricket before. Matt Henry is here, Daryl Mitchell is here, Doug Bracewell, Ajaz Patel…there're guys in and around the squad who've played for us in the past.”
He signed off by saying, “So, again, we're having those discussions with them about what's best for them given training loads, playing loads, and readiness for that match.”
(With PTI Inputs)