Crawley comes in for England Test debut as injured Buttler drops out

By Sports Desk November 28, 2019

Zak Crawley has received his first England cap after he replaced the injured Jos Buttler for the second Test against New Zealand.

England suffered defeat by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test at Mount Maunganui and will look to tie the two-match series by responding in Hamilton.

Their task has been made more difficult after Buttler sustained a back injury in training on Thursday.

With Jonny Bairstow not included in the Test squad, England – who have no back-up wicketkeeper – have called up Kent batsman Crawley to fill the gap left by Buttler.

Crawley will bat at six with Ollie Pope, who came in at four in the first Test, taking over Buttler's role at wicketkeeper and moving down to seven.

"I was with Jos in the gym [on Thursday] when he did his back so I knew there was a chance I was going to play earlier in the day but I found out officially last night," 21-year-old Crawley told Sky Sports.

"Jos is a real nice guy so it's a real shame for him. You get chances sometimes and this one is mine. I'm disappointed for Jos but I'm glad to make my debut. I'm definitely excited, nervous as well but there's some excitement."

As well as the enforced change, England have made another alteration, with Jack Leach dropping out for Chris Woakes.

After winning the toss and electing to bat on a grassy surface, England captain Joe Root explained the reasoning behind going without a specialist spinner.

"We're still trying to find ways to take 20 wickets in these conditions," he said at the toss. "We feel this is a great opportunity, on a surface like this, to try and explore something slightly different.

"It's pretty simple what we need to improve on, it was just about preparing well over the two days we've had and we've done that so it's now about going and playing, putting our heart and soul into these five days and making sure we come away with something."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, meanwhile, confirmed one change for his side, with Matt Henry replacing Trent Boult in the Black Caps' bowling attack at Seddon Park.

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