Fast-bowling allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been picked for the 15-man New Zealand squad that will tour India later this month. The Kiwi selectors also kept faith in out-of-form batsman Martin Guptill while picking Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi for the tour.
After being sidelined from International cricket for almost a year, allrounder Jimmy Neesham has made it to the New Zealand Test team for India tour. Neesham had to pull out of New Zealand's Test tour against Australia last year due to a back injury and had played County cricket in England since recovering.
Speaking about the allrounder's return, Kiwi selector Gavin Larsen said, "Jimmy has put in a lot of work to make sure he is physically ready for a return to Test cricket. 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," reported ESPNCricinfo.
Despite his poor form in the South Africa Test series last month, Martin Guptill was given another chance by the selectors for the India tour. Another fast bowling option, Corey Anderson was left out of the squad due to a back injury. Pacer Matt Henry and batsman Jeet Raval did not make it to the squad as Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi have been given a chance after their impressive showings at the World T20 2016 in India earlier this year.
"Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi will have benefited 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,” Larsen told Cricinfo.
Speaking about the challenge of facing India at their home, Larsen said, “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.”
Kanpur will host the first Test match between the two nations, beginning on September 22, followed by Tests in Kolkata and Indore.
New Zealand's Squad for India tour: 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.