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Knee injury rules Mitchell Santner out of Test series against England

Mitchell Santner has been sidelined for nine months
Mitchell Santner has been sidelined for nine months

New Zealand will miss the services of all-rounder Mitchell Santner in the upcoming two-game Test series against England following a knee injury.

The 26-year-old experienced pain in his knee for quite a while which deteriorated during the recently concluded One-Day International series against England and a scan revealed that he will need a surgery that will keep him on the sidelines for nine months.

“On a personal level everyone feels for Mitchell,” New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said in a statement.

“He’s a popular guy in the changing room and he’s well respected for the work he puts in for the side.

“Mitchell is a key player in all three formats for us, so we’ll certainly miss him in the upcoming series.

“It’s important though that he gets this fixed and we have him back for what is a big next 18 months for us.”

Meanwhile, the selectors have opted for leg-spinner Todd Astle as a replacement for the first Test in Auckland which will be a day-night encounter.

“Having another spin bowling all-rounder in Todd is of real benefit for us and he’ll be looking forward to his opportunity,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said.

“Being involved in the first day-night test in New Zealand is really exciting and there’s always something special about playing England.

“They have match winners throughout their squad so we expect a challenging series.”

With BJ Watling recovering from a hip injury, his replacement Tom Blundell, who scored a century on his debut series against Windies has been dropped.

The first Test will be played between 22nd and 26th March.

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk).

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