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Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain ruled out of home test series against South Africa

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            Kane Williamson, the captain of New Zealand, has been ruled out of the two-match Test series against South Africa later this month after failing to heal from a long-standing elbow injury in time.

Williamson missed New Zealand’s recent series against Bangladesh due to a strain issue that could not be repaired surgically.

With the retirement of veteran Ross Taylor, New Zealand will have one of the smallest batting lines in recent years, with bowling allrounder Daryl Mitchell set to bat as high as No. 5. New Zealand recalled all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and opener Hamish Rutherford for the opening game, while wicketkeeper Cam Fletcher and fast bowler Blair Tickner were granted their first Test call-ups.

“(Kane) was anxious to play in the series, but with the level of loading necessary for test cricket, we had to make the difficult decision… and focus on recovering for the white-ball matches against the Netherlands in March”, Kiwi head coach Gary Stead said.

Trent Boult will also miss the first Test due to the birth of his third child, but left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel might be called up for the second.

“It’s essential to remember that this group is just for the first Test”, Stead continued. “We do have the ability to make changes if needed, with Trent and Ajaz potentially available for the second”.

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