Blackcaps v England: Captain Kane Williamson ruled out of second test at Edgbaston

The Blackcaps will be without captain Kane Williamson for the second test against England, starting Thursday.

Williamson has succumbed to a left elbow injury that's troubled him since March and coach Gary Stead insists the 30-year-old must give it some time to heal, with the World Test Championship final against India looming next week.

"It's not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a test, but we think it’s the right one,” Stead says.

"He's had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he’s been experiencing when he bats, and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise his recovery.

"The decision has been made very much with the ICC World Test Championship final at Southampton in mind and we are confident he will be ready for that match."

Opening batsman Tom Latham will captain the team in Williamson's absence, while Will Young enters the starting XI to bat at No.3.

Latham admits Williamson's loss will be keenly felt, particularly his leadership on the pitch.

"He's fantastic as a captain," says Latham. "I think it's well documented how his personality, his calm nature out in the middle has been vital to this group

"He's very relaxed… he doesn't get too high and he doesn't get too low, which I think has been great for this side in recent years.

"We'd love for him to be available but obviously we've got our eye on the final in a week's time, so for Kane it's about giving himself the best opportunity to be fully fit and available for that game.

"He'll certainly be missed… but it's obviously an exciting opportunity for me."

The 28-year-old Young is riding the momentum of some strong performances for Durham in the English County Championship, with centuries in his last two matches.

He'll make his third test appearance for New Zealand, after making his debut in the home series against the West Indies in December.

"He had an opportunity for us last year back in our home summer and his coming off runs for Durham," Latham notes.

"It's another exciting opportunity for Will to put his hand up and try and put a performance on the board."

First-test hero Tim Southee may also be rested, allowing Trent Boult to make his return to the test arena for valuable match conditioning, after initially being ruled out of contention for selection, due to his late arrival in the UK.

England captain Joe Root says Williamson is a "huge loss" for the tourists but was weary of another strong outing from a Kiwi newcomer, off the back of Devon Conway's masterful double-century in his debut at Lord's.

"He's one of those players where you spend a lot of time thinking about how you're going to keep him quiet and get rid of him early," Root admits.

"It will be a huge loss for them, but we're also very respectful that New Zealand have a strong squad and are involved in the WTC final because they have strength in depth.

"We saw last week a debutant [Devon Conway] coming in and getting a double hundred. We've got to make sure we're clear on our plans, and clued up on whoever replaces him, so we can find ways of keeping him quiet and dismissing him."

A win at Edgbaston would earn New Zealand their first test series win in England since 1999, after the first test at Lord's was drawn.

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