Kane Williamson, the New Zealand skipper, has been ruled out of the third Test against Bangladesh after failing to recover from the left pectoral muscle injury he sustained in the second game.
Gary Stead, the head coach, confirmed on Friday, 15 March that Williamson will be replaced by the uncapped right-hand batsman Will Young. Williamson sustained the injury while fielding at gully on the third day of the second Test and looked in pain while batting the next day. He didn’t take the field at all on the fifth day and was taken to the hospital instead.
“Kane is obviously a really important player for us, and with the nature of the injury, we couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t aggravate it,” said Stead, who had promised a “safe approach” in handling the injury after the second Test. “He’s improving every day and will continue his rehabilitation as planned.”
Young, 26, has amassed 4414 runs at an average of 41.64, with a best score of 162 in 69 first-class appearances. He recently recorded a century for Central Districts in the Plunkett Shield, notching up 150 against Otago in Napier. The Black Caps have found the perfect opportunity to hand him his debut – they have already taken an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-Test series.
“Will has been waiting in the wings for a while now, and he’ll get a great opportunity batting at number three in a settled line-up,” Stead said.
For Young, who had received his maiden national call-up in December 2018, this was a moment to cherish with his family. “Massively excited to finally get the nod and get out there to play cricket with the boys,” he said. “The first thing I did was ring my parents, my brother, my partner. They’re all on the flights down tomorrow morning. It was a really cool moment hearing how excited they were for me. Real proud moment.”
Meanwhile, BJ Watling, the New Zealand wicket-keeper, has healed from his hamstring injury and will be available for selection for the third Test. Watling’s participation had been in doubt after he tweaked his hamstring in the warm-ups before the fifth day of the second Test. Peter Bocock had taken up wicket-keeping duties on that occasion. The third and final Test kicks off in Christchurch on 16 March.