London, June 7 : New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme's withdrawal from the ongoing Test series in England due to an injury is likely to benefit Henry Nicholls as the Black Caps try to find the right combination to make a strong comeback in the series after losing the first match at Lord's. The reigning World Test champions slumped to a five-wicket defeat inside four days in the first Test at Lord's, during which de Grandhomme tore the plantar fascia in his right heel while bowling on day three. CSK Star Dwaine Pretorius Amazed by MS Dhoni’s Calmness at the Crease.

Scans have since confirmed the injury and ruled the 35-year-old out for at least 10-12 weeks, New Zealand coach Gary Stead confirmed on Monday. With Tests at Trent Bridge and Headingley to come, the Black Caps now have to find an effective replacement for de Grandhomme. The team management has included spin-bowling allrounder Michael Bracewell, who was already in the team as cover for Nicholls, to continue with the team as a replacement for de Grandhomme.

But Bracewell might not get his chance as Nicholls, who has recovered from a calf injury, is likely to return to his usual spot at five, pushing down a spot first-Test century-maker Daryl Mitchell and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell to sixth and seventh respectively. "Henry (Nicholls) is going really well. We're hopeful he'll be available for selection for the second test. He's certainly in the past week or so advanced really, really nicely. We're hopeful he'll be available for selection," Stead was quoted as saying by media back home. Colin De Grandhomme, New Zealand Pacer, Out of Rest of England Tour With Injury.

Left-hander Nicholls averages a touch over 40 from 46 Tests and scored his eighth Test century in the home series against South Africa in February, the reports said. The Trent Bridge pitch usually supports seam bowling and thus New Zealand look set to bring in pacer Neil Wagner back into the playing XI in place of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. Thus Mitchell will also be asked to shoulder the responsibility of bowling extra overs to make up for the absence of de Grandhomme.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 07, 2022 05:03 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website