BIRMINGHAM: England won the toss and chose to bat first at Edgbaston in the second and final test against a much-changed New Zealand, which was without wicketkeeper BJ Watling because of his late withdrawal.
Watling failed to overcome a sore back, the Black Caps said on Thursday, and has been replaced by Tom Blundell for his 11th test.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was already a confirmed absentee he was replaced as skipper by Tom Latham and the tourists chose to rotate ahead of the world test championship against India, which is their priority and starts on June 18.
There were six changes in total in the New Zealand team from the drawn first test at Lord’s, including the return of left-arm seamer Trent Boult.
England’s only change saw Olly Stone replace fellow fast bowler Ollie Robinson, who was suspended for the match by the England and Wales Cricket Board pending an investigation into historic discriminatory tweets that resurfaced during the first test.
That keeps England with an all-seam attack that includes Jimmy Anderson, who became the team’s most-capped test player with his 162nd appearance.
England will bat under gray skies at the venue in Birmingham.
Lineups: England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (captain), Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence, James Bracey, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Devon Conway, Will Young, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Daryl Mitchell, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.