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Santner replaces Neesham in NZ Test squad

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016 Daniel Gilhooly


Mitchell Santner © Getty Images Mitchell Santner

Fit-again Mitchell Santner has replaced fellow-allounder Jimmy Neesham in the New Zealand squad for the second Test against Pakistan.

Former Test batsman Dean Brownlie has also been placed on standby for the match starting in Hamilton on Friday, with doubt still remaining over Ross Taylor's availability.

Taylor saw an eye specialist on Tuesday in an attempt to diagnose vision difficulties which have become problematic over the last six months - resulting in a fall in form.

Former captain Taylor and team management decided they would consult another specialist before making a decision on his readiness for the Test at Seddon Park.

Brownlie, 32, played the last of 14 Tests three years ago. He has been in sound form as an opener for Canterbury in recent seasons.

Ten-Test left-arm spinner Santner has recovered more quickly than expected from a fractured wrist suffered while batting in the nets three weeks ago.

Selector Gavin Larsen said an x-ray had cleared the 24-year-old, who was one of the few Black Caps to emerge with credit from the recent tour of India.

It was thought Santner might replace Todd Astle but Larsen says keeping the two-Test Canterbury legspinner in the squad opens up options in Hamilton.

"With Mitchell and Todd in the team, it gives us the opportunity to play two spinners if required," Larsen said.

"Mitchell brings all-round ability and is coming off a strong tour of India."

Neesham, who will play for Otago this week, was a surprise omission from the first Test in Christchurch, which New Zealand won by eight wickets.

His place went to Colin de Grandhomme, who was named man-of-the-match on debut courtesy of six wickets in the first innings.

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