New Zealand's wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling has been ruled out from the second Test against England in Birmingham, after failing to overcome a sore back.
"The injury has troubled Watling in the past, and although it has improved in the past 24 hours, it hasn't improved enough to be confident of him getting through a full Test behind the stumps," said New Zealand Cricket in a press statement.
"Wellington Firebirds wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell will take the gloves and bat six in his 11th Test."
Watling had earlier announced that he would be retiring from all forms of international cricket after the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India, starting June 18 in Southampton.
New Zealand will be without their captain Kane Williamson, who has been rested for the second Test against England at Edgbaston due to injury concerns. Williamson's place at three in the order will be taken by 28-year-old Will Young, who has scored 48 runs in his two Tests innings to date.
Kane Williamson had said before he arrives in England that the elbow concern is being managed, and he was hopeful of returning to peak fitness sooner than later. Williamson had missed three Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) due to the same injury.
Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner has also been ruled out for the final Test with a finger injury. At the same time, experienced pacer Trent Boult is available for selection.
The first Test between the two sides had ended in a draw at Lord's.
3rd ODI, Cape Town, 23 Jan 2022
2nd ODI, Doha, 23 Jan 2022
1st T20I (D/N), Bridgetown, 22 Jan 2022
2nd ODI, Paarl, 21 Jan 2022