New Zealand in India 2016-17 September 6, 2016

Neesham returns to New Zealand Test squad

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been named in New Zealand's Test squad for the upcoming tour of India, having not played an international since the Brisbane Test against Australia last November. Fast bowler Matt Henry and batsman Jeet Raval have been dropped from the 16-man squad that toured Africa, with Neesham the only addition to what is now a 15-man group.

Neesham was forced out of last summer's Australia tour due to back pain, but he has since then played for Otago during New Zealand's home season and for Derbyshire in England's county competition. New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said Neesham's all-round ability made him an attractive proposition for the tour of India, while Corey Anderson could not be considered due to a back injury.

"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 allrounders in Jimmy and Doug Bracewell helps the balance of the squad, particularly if playing on pitches which demand a spin-heavy bowling attack.

"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."

"Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi will have benefitted from getting a taste of Indian conditions earlier this year at the ICC World Twenty20 and both showed excellent form at that tournament. It's another big challenge for them early in their young careers, as well as for Mark Craig, who has made some changes in the past six months and has shown growth in his game.

"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."

The first Test is in Kanpur beginning on September 22, followed by Tests in Kolkata and Indore.

Squad 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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shane-oh on September 12, 2016, 9:20 GMT

    @BLACKCAPSBESTINTHEWORLD - I can't get on board with moving KW. I'm a big believer in the old philosophy of leaving a guy who is doing everything right exactly where he is, and besides, 3/4 should be your best bats. The opening role is a more specialist one. I don't usually do this but my lineup at home this summer would be: 1) Raval 2) Latham 3) KW 4) Rosco 5) Guptill 6) Neesham 7) BJ 8) Sodhi/Craig 9) Wagner 10) Southee 11) Boult. Potentially swap out the spinner for Bracewell if the conditions require it, because I still believe your 8 should be able to score a few runs. I know Bracewell hasn't really at test level but I expect someone at 8 to average 20-25 and we know Bracewell is capable. Tough on Nicholls but I still think Guptill deserves a run in his natural position, Nicholls can come in if Guppy doesn't make the most of it.

  • hamanar on September 12, 2016, 1:09 GMT

    I suspect, as per usual, NZ, with the possible exception of KW, will struggle against the spin of turning pitches. Why change a winning formula? I think the last time NZ won in India was back in the Hadlee era when Bracewell surprised a few on a real 'busen' and then proceeded to cause more surprise by batting his socks off.

  • BlackCapsBestintheWorld on September 10, 2016, 19:44 GMT

    Bring on the raging turners. Serve us a rank turner. I enjoy watching batsmen struggle. Its a change from the 250+ in t20s and 350+ in ODIs.

  • BlackCapsBestintheWorld on September 10, 2016, 19:26 GMT

    My ideal NZ lineup for home conditions. Im not going to pick a team for India because thats difficult 1) Tom Latham 2) Kane Williamson 3) Ross Taylor 4) Henry Nicolls 5) Bj Watling 6) Martin Guptill 7) Mitch Santner 8) Neil Wagner 9) Tim Southee 10) Matt Henry 11) Trent Boult Thoughts from NZ fans on my lineup? Dont say anything about Southee because I'll lose my mind. Im not a fan of all rounders so dont suggest Corey. Maybe Neesh but not Corey.

  • BlackCapsBestintheWorld on September 10, 2016, 19:14 GMT

    Im going to rip my hair off if another person mentions Munros FC average of 50. Moving along, I know I might get criticized for saying this but why not let Kane take the initiative and open the batting with Tommy. Guppy always gets out early and overloads young Tommy with a lot of pressure. Let Guptill come at #5/6. If Guptill gets dropped from the squad in the future before being tried lower down the order, I will lose my mind. Kane can definitely open. Theres no one in this world that has a better technique than him. Let Roscoe come at 3 and Promote BJ to 4 with Guppy coming in after him. I know this wont happen but what a batting lineup that would be. Maybe even let Watling open with Kane and Move Tommy to #3 and let Roscoe play his natural position. Im sorry but at this point they have to try something different but I know they wont knowing the nature of the selectors and staff. Hopefully the Test rankings can give them a wake up call.

  • Danial on September 9, 2016, 14:28 GMT

    Why is ronchi in the squad but not colin munro? Munro has a fist class avg of nearly 50

  • Munsta101 on September 9, 2016, 10:15 GMT

    I think Santner will be dropped from this Test team by the end of the tour. Sure, they may be turning pitches, but Indian batsmen play spin well so Santner's rubbish will be put away to all parts. He is likely to struggle with the bat also and prove that he is a tailender rather than a middle-order batsman. I hope he proves me wrong.

  • shane-oh on September 9, 2016, 8:14 GMT

    Taylor has been NZ's most consistent scorer of big scores since Crowe for quite some time now, until recently overtaken by KW. He has scored them all around the world against everyone, in both tests and ODIs (admittedly has under performed a bit in T20Is). Just last year he got the highest ever score by a visiting batsman in Australia! Don't worry about him, worry about the other batsmen supporting him and KW more, and the bowlers bringing their A game.

  • SameOld on September 8, 2016, 23:36 GMT

    @WPBUS: Yeah, that's a popular perception of Taylor, although I'm not sure how accurate it is. he's scored against pretty much everyone, everywhere, under all kinds of circumstances IIRC. Before KW, we all used to say 'if only Ross had someone to bat with'. I hope Nicholls can nail down #5 too. He's shown he is up for a scrap when coming in at 3 for not much, which is great. Here's hoping the top 4 can give him a bit more practice at dominating from a strong base.

  • wpbus13 on September 8, 2016, 13:13 GMT

    @ SAMEOLD, I hope you are right, everyone wants to see a competitive series and not another one sided affair. Would love to see Nicholls establish himself as a serious player on this tour, Williamson desperately needs help! I know many fans like Ross Taylor but I always feel like he comes up short in big games.

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