Kruger van Wyk will make his Test debut for New Zealand on Wednesday after BJ Watling was ruled out of the first Test against South Africa due to a hip injury. van Wyk, 32, will debut against the country of his birth as wicketkeeper in the absence of Watling, who won the battle between the two men for a place in New Zealand's previous Test, against Zimbabwe in January.
van Wyk will become the fifth wicketkeeper used by New Zealand in Tests in the past two years, after Brendon McCullum gave up the gloves in the longer format and was succeeded by Gareth Hopkins and then Reece Young. He is the second leading run scorer in the Plunket Shield this summer with 638 runs at an average of 91.14.
The New Zealand physio Paul Close said Watling had played a full part in training over the past two days but there remained some risk that he would not get through the full five days of a Test match.
"The decision was based on a re-assessment made after training today by BJ and myself," Close said. "The nature of the injury is such that we were concerned about BJ's ability to get through the match, based the high workloads required by a wicket-keeper batsman. He requires further assessment find out the best course of action and to determine how long it is until he's back playing. "
van Wyk will become New Zealand's oldest Test debutant since Chris Kuggeleijn in 1988.
Edited by Brydon Coverdale