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Rib blow keeps Neesham out of first Test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/09/2016

New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham © Reuters New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham

New Zealand allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been ruled out of the first Test against India with a rib injury. Neesham suffered a blow in the nets on Thursday, which limited his involvement in the three-day match against Mumbai.

Coach Mike Hesson says the injury is not serious, but Neesham won't be considered for the Test in Kanpur, which starts Thursday. "Jimmy was struck in the nets and has been in discomfort the last few days," Hesson said.

"It will take a few days for the bruising to go away, but it's very much a short-term injury. "We expect him to be back to full fitness ahead of the second Test."

It is the second training injury of the tour, with paceman Tim Southee forced to fly home after damaging an ankle in the nets last week. He was replaced by Matt Henry.

Meanwhile the New Zealanders have arrived to a rousing reception at their hotel in Kanpur, scene of the first Test starting on Thursday. Journalists and supporters welcomed the team en masse ahead of what will be India's 500th Test.

Black Caps batsman Henry Nicholls says it was a change from the relative calm of Mumbai. "As soon as we arrived it had a big feel about and a level of intensity which is very exciting," he said.

Nicholls says the tourists took plenty from the warm-up game, particularly on the final day when they were dismissed for 235 on a pitch which began to take spin and bounce.

Nicholls says he feels better prepared for what will be his first Test in India. "The heat was pretty intense too. It's one of the extra tests you have over here."

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