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Patel earns Test recall for Black Caps

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/03/2017

Offspinner Jeetan Patel has been recalled to the Black Caps squad for the first Test against South Africa in Dunedin next week.

Selector Gavin Larsen said Patel's variety was the primary reason for his call-up.

"Jeetan brings the ability to spin the ball away from the left-handers, which complements our other spinner in Mitchell Santner nicely.

"He brings a huge amount of experience to the team and gives us the balance of having two front-line spin options."

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been recalled to the 13-strong squad, with Larsen saying his form warranted inclusion.

"Jimmy has impressed so far this summer and we've seen improvement in his game. He gives us another option and is also very familiar with the conditions at University of Otago Oval," Larsen said.

Neil Wagner has also returned, a month after dislocating a finger.

"Having Neil back and available is fantastic news for us. Neil's been our leading wicket-taker in recent times and is a key player for us," Larsen said.

"He's worked extremely hard to get himself ready for the series and we expect him to be fit and ready to go come the first Test."

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling also returns, after taking a month off to rest a knee injury.

Matt Henry and Dean Brownlie drop out of the squad and will play in the Plunket Shield day-night match beginning next week.

Black Caps: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

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