Christchurch, Feb 15 (IANS) New Zealand’s wishes of squaring the Test series against Australia have taken a hit with batsman Ross Taylor and spin-bowling allrounder Mitchell Santner ruled out from the second game scheduled to start here from Saturday.
The match will also be the farewell Test of veteran Brendon McCullum.
Taylor, who scored a memorable 290 against Australia in the WACA Test in Perth last November, has not recovered enough from a side strain to be fit for the game, reported cricket.com.au on Monday.
The hard-hitting batsman tore a muscle in his left side while playing against Pakistan in December. The injury also kept him out of the Chappell-Hadlee series earlier this month.
Santner hurt his right foot in the second One-Day International against Australia in Wellington and is still suffering the effects of bone bruising.
Henry Nicholls filled in Taylor’s shoes for the first Test which the hosts lost by an innings and 52 runs but the 24-year-old got to a well-fought 59 in the second innings before being bowled by Jackson Bird.
With Santner ruled out, off spinner Mark Craig has retained his place in the Black Caps squad for the second Test.
“Everyone wants to play against Australia, so both guys are understandably disappointed to be missing out,” said Black Caps coach Mike Hesson on Monday.
“The players and the medical staff worked hard to be available for the match, but in the end ran out of time. Ross is back hitting balls again and is targeting a return in the Island of Origin match before we head away to the ICC World Twenty20.”
“Mitch is on track to be fit for the World Twenty20 and we’ll continue to monitor both players closely.”