Joe Denly ruled out of England's first T20 against New Zealand with ankle injury with Lewis Gregory favourite to step in and make debut
Joe Denly is out of Friday's first Twenty20 international in Christchurch after rolling his right ankle during fielding practice at Hagley Oval.
Denly had been expected to bat in England's middle order, but limped off for treatment on Thursday morning after suffering the injury while taking an outfield catch.
His place will now go to a Somerset debutant – either opening batsman Tom Banton or all-rounder Lewis Gregory, with Gregory favourite to win his first international cap.
Joe Denly goes down in a heap after rolling his ankle at Christchurch's Hagley Oval
Denly is helped to his feet by England coaching staff but will miss the first T20
That means England will take the field with three debutants in the 20-over format. Captain Eoin Morgan announced earlier in the day that Worcestershire seamer Pat Brown would win his first cap of any kind, and Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran – who has already played 11 Tests and two one-day internationals – his first at Twenty20 level.
Denly spent Thursday afternoon in a moon boot, and was expected to be reassessed on Friday morning before any decision is taken about his participation in the rest of the series. The second game takes place in Wellington on Sunday.