New Zealand to rest pace bowlers ahead of India clash

New Zealand are set to rest a few of their key bowlers for the second Test against England to ensure they are fresh and raring to go when they clash with India in the World Test Championship final on June 18. New Zealand are already dealing with fitness concerns around skipper Kane Williamson while spinner Mitchell Santner has also been ruled of the second match, starting Thursday (June 10), due to a finger injury.

Williamson has again been troubled by his elbow. With pacer Trent Boult now available for selection for the final match of the series, New Zealand can easily rest one of their other key bowlers – Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson. It won’t be a surprise if more than one among them does not take field. “They (bowlers) have all scrubbed up pretty well, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will play in the next match,” New Zealand head coach Stead said ahead of the second match.

Matt Henry, Doug Bracewell and uncapped Jacob Duffy could be the replacements for the pacers. “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. 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.

“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,” Stead said.