New Zealand v England: Black Caps recall wicketkeeper Watling for Test series

Test gloveman BJ Watling has received the all clear on his troublesome hip injury after keeping wicket in two

Test gloveman BJ Watling has received the all clear on his troublesome hip injury after keeping wicket in two

New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the Test series against England with a knee injury.

File image of New Zealand's Mitchell Santner.

Santner will be operated on later this week, before beginning an extensive rehabilitation - a tough road not just for the bowler - but for the Black Caps unit as a whole coach Mike Hesson said.

"We've monitored BJ's progress over the past few months and it's great to see him back with the gloves for Northern Districts".

Watling, who averages 38.05 from 52 Tests, was sidelined from keeping wickets for 11 months since the South Africa Test series last season. "Tom Blundell did a great job in BJ's absence and we'll keep working with him going forward".

The first Test against England starts on 22 March in Auckland with the second and final game of the series scheduled for Christchurch from 30 March.

Larsen said a player of Astle's quality helped lessen the blow of Santner's injury.

'Having another spin bowling all-rounder in Todd is of real benefit for us and he'll be looking forward to his opportunity, ' Kiwis selector Gavin Larsen said.

There have been a number of changes to the New Zealand XI sides to face England in a pair of two day matches against England in Hamilton.

Some of the test squad will play the pink ball warmup match against England in Hamilton on Wednesday and Thursday, with the rest gathering in Tauranga for a pre-series camp.

Middle-order batsman Ross Taylor has been included after missing the ODI decider - which England won to clinch a 3-2 series victory - with a quadriceps injury.

The squad also comprises of a couple of Test specialists, Jeet Raval, and Neil Wagner, who will form a solid quartet along with Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Matt Henry.