New Zealand cricket team's injury woes deepen as Trent Boult ruled out of third test against South Africa

Trent Boult also missed the second test against South Africa in Wellington.
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Trent Boult also missed the second test against South Africa in Wellington.

New Zealand pace bowling spearhead Trent Boult has been ruled out of the third cricket test against South Africa.

Left-arm seamer Boult failed to recover in time from the groin injury that forced him out of the second test, won by the Proteas in Wellington last weekend. 

The news came just a day after new-ball partner Tim Southee was also scratched from the tour-ending test with a hamstring injury.

NZ Cricket named Northern Districts all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijn as injury cover for Boult for the third test, starting in Hamilton on Saturday. Kuggeleijn made himself unavailable for national team selection earlier this year as he stood trial accused of rape. He was found not guilty.

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Young quick Lockie Ferguson was not considered after suffering an injury in the current round of the Plunket Shield.

New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said that while Boult had worked hard to make himself available for the third test, it was clear he needed further recovery time.

"Trent did everything possible to get himself ready for this test and is extremely disappointed to be missing out.

"While he has made good progress, after training yesterday we spoke with medical staff and it was agreed that Trent required a little further time to be ready for the demands of test cricket.

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"Scott will come in as cover having consistently finished as one of the top wicket-takers in the Plunket Shield in recent seasons.

"Not having Trent or Tim available tests the depth of our squad, but we're confident of the job that Neil and Matt can do for us."

Larsen's comments indicated Neil Wagner and Matt Henry, who played the last of his seven tests against Pakistan in Hamilton in November, would be New Zealand's two frontline seamers for the match.

The home team were also expected to play two specialist spinners, with Mitchell Santner returning to join Jeetan Patel, while all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme are likely vying for the spot as the third seam bowling option.

Along with Boult and vice-captain Southee being unavailable, New Zealand also have vastly experienced batsman Ross Taylor on the injured list.

Taylor injured his right calf muscle while batting during the first test draw in Dunedin.

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 - Stuff

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