New Zealand will be without injured allrounder Corey Anderson when they seek to square the Test series against England in Leeds.
Anderson didn’t take part in the team’s final training session ahead of second and final Test starting at Headingley on Friday and a team spokesman confirmed to NZ Newswire he had been ruled out.
The 24-year-old injured his back early in the 124-run first-Test loss at Lord’s and bowled just eight overs in the match.
He was also in pain in the field but was able to top-score with 67 in New Zealand’s failed second innings run chase of 220.
Anderson’s place is likely to be taken by seamer Doug Bracewell, bolstering the tourists’ bowling stocks but weakening their batting potency.
A second change is also possible, with wicketkeeper BJ Watling in doubt because of the bruised knee suffered at Lord’s which forced him to forgo `keeping duties for the last four days.
His movement is still compromised, possibly opening the door to a Test debut for 34-year-old gloveman Luke Ronchi although a decision won’t be made until the morning of the Test.
England need only draw to clinch the two-Test the series and end New Zealand’s run of six successive unbeaten series over the last two years.
That scenario prompted Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum to question whether the hosts will reproduce the same belligerent, attacking cricket of the first Test.
“I guess the challenge for England will be, what is their authentic style?” McCullum said.
“It’s a challenge we had to go through not too long ago, and hence we’ve come up with an aggressive style that we think is right for us.
“I guess time will tell if the performance of England in the last game is the way they want to play or whether it was one they stumbled upon.”
McCullum also reacted frostily to criticism from commentators at the nature of the Lord’s defeat.
Much of the negative assessment has come from New Zealand, mostly contending that the tourists should have closed shop when victory seemed beyond them on the fifth and final day.
Instead several batsmen continued to play their shots, maintaining a slim chance of victory deep into the final day before being dismissed with less than 10 overs remaining.
“I was a little bit surprised, but I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion about how you play a certain style,” McCullum said of the criticism.
“I make no apologies to how we play the game because we have seen in the last six series that we have been undefeated, and playing that way gives us the greatest opportunity.”