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Neesham returns from injury layoff for India Tests

Neesham returns from injury layoff for India Tests
James Neesham last played a Test for New Zealand in November 2015.
©REUTERS / Action Images

New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has made a return to the Test squad for the upcoming tour of India after recovering from a back injury.

Due to the back injury, Neesham missed out on the second and third Test matches against Australia in November 2015 but since, he has made a successful recovery and has also featured for Derbyshire in the county season.

The New Zealand selectors have dropped pace bowler Matt Henry and batsman Jeet Raval from the squad which toured South Africa recently and with the addition of Neesham, it is now a 15-member side which will face India.

According to New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen, having all-rounders like Neesham and Doug Bracewell in the squad will benefit the team, especially in the Indian conditions which suit spin bowling.

“Jimmy has put in a lot of work to make sure he is physically ready for a return to Test cricket,” Larsen said.

“Having two pace-bowling all-rounders in Jimmy and Doug Bracewell helps the balance of the squad, particularly if playing on pitches which demand a spin-heavy bowling attack.”

Larsen also said that Raval is unfortunate to miss out on the tour of India but mentioned that the selectors were impressed by his efforts in the tour of Africa.

“Jeet Raval misses out on this tour, but we were really pleased with what we saw of him in Africa. He did everything asked of him and we’ll continue to monitor him closely.”

With India sitting at the second spot in the rankings and New Zealand in the seventh place, Larsen admitted that the challenge of beating the hosts with a formidable home record is quite motivating for the team.

“India’s the No.2 ranked side in the world, and their record at home is formidable.

“We’re yet to win a Test series over there and that’s motivating for everyone.

“We’ve got three Tests to try create a special piece of history.”

On their tour of India, New Zealand will play three Tests, starting on 22nd September in Kanpur, Kolkata and Indore respectively, and will then move on to the five-match ODI series which gets underway on 16th October.

New Zealand Squad for India Tests:

Kane Williamson (capt), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

© Cricket World 2016