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Neesham out of second Test; Patel in frame

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/09/2016

Jimmy Neesham has been ruled out of New Zealand's second Test against India in Kolkata but Jeetan Patel is a strong chance to play despite his arrival being delayed.

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson said allrounder Neesham's rib injury will sideline him from the Test starting on Friday, as it did for the opening 197-run loss in Kanpur.

The injury, suffered in training early in the tour, is hindering Hesson's selection options.

With Eden Gardens expected to again favour spinners, Neesham's inclusion as a second seamer in place of Neil Wagner or Trent Boult would have lengthened the batting lineup.

"It takes away options in terms of changing our balance a bit," Hesson said.

"But that's okay. We are not able to get any replacement in time who is a batting allrounder."

Meanwhile, Patel was scheduled to arrive in Kolkata in the early hours of Thursday morning (India time) after his original flight out of England was cancelled, leaving him with just over 24 hours to prepare for the Test if selected.

Recalled to replace the injured Mark Craig, 36-year-old Patel is professional enough to quickly acclimatise to Indian conditions, Hesson said.

The flight to India from London is less taxing than coming from Auckland, Hesson said.

"Jeets will be fine. Obviously every extra day you have here the better, but we are in a situation where we needed a pretty quick replacement.

"He certainly adds some experience and some knowledge among our other young spinners."

Patel, who is coming off another stellar season of county cricket with Warwickshire, is expected to form part of a three-pronged spin attack with left-armer Mitchell Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi.

Patel was dropped from the New Zealand team after 2-0 series loss in South Africa in early 2013.

He turned down a offer to return for the tour of the West Indies the following year, preferring to focus on his county commitments.

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