England star in doubt for Black Caps Test, Williamson ready to play

Publish Date
Wednesday, 22 June 2022, 8:50AM

By Andrew Alderson on New Zealand's cricket tour of England

Concern whirls around whether England captain Ben Stokes will be fit for the third cricket test against New Zealand starting tomorrow night at Headingley.

He sat out training with a chesty cough after a weekend visit to his old club, Cockermouth.

Stokes has so far tested negative for Covid while Stuart Broad, Jonny Bairstow or Joe Root are options to deputise with Jimmy Anderson also potentially rested.

Harry Brook could be an option to debut in the middle order if Stokes is ruled out.

England batting coach Marcus Trescothick has tested positive for the coronavirus.

In the Black Caps camp, Kane Williamson is ready to play and has returned to the nets after his bout with the infection.

Pace bowler Trent Boult says they need Williamson's experience urgently.

"He was disappointed to sit out the last game but he's hungry to get out there to lead the side and desperate to get some runs."

Boult has also suggested the time has come for one team member to launch a symphony of short-pitched bowling against their opponents, in the absence of the injured Kyle Jamieson.

"We've got a guy called Neil Wagner who's itching to play. I'm not sure if he'll walk straight back in."

Wagner most recently featured in the series against South Africa where he took nine wickets at an average of 24.

The 36-year-old left-armer hasn't appeared against England.

Devon Conway and Michael Bracewell are also fit to return, if required.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission