Second Test news as England make changes in Christchurch

England have dropped mainstays Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes from their team to face New Zealand in tonight's second and final Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.

England's Moeen Ali: Axed.

Out-of-form all-rounder Moeen was widely-expected to lose his place if England decided to make changes after their innings-and-49-run defeat in Auckland.

Frontline seamer Woakes’s absence from a 12 announced after nets on Thursday is more surprising - with batsman James Vince, uncapped spinner Jack Leach and fit-again fast bowler Mark Wood instead included.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

England still face a tough selection call on the morning of a critical match - complicated by the likelihood all-rounder Ben Stokes will remain unavailable to bowl.

Stokes did so in the nets on Wednesday, but not 24 hours on, as he continues to struggle with a stiff back.

The tourists face the quandary of going in light on either batting or bowling as they try to avoid ending their tough Ashes winter with a second series defeat and record 13th away Test in succession without victory.

Minus Vince, they will have a curiously long tail. Without slow left-armer Leach, the pace of Wood or Craig Overton’s steady seamers, they will have only four bowling options - unless Stokes reports fit to play his full all-round role after all.

England’s 12-man squad (v New Zealand in Christchurch): JE Root (capt), AN Cook, JM Vince, MD Stoneman, DJ Malan, BA Stokes, JM Bairstow (wkt), C Overton, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, MJ Leach, MA Wood.