In yet another setback for New Zealand, allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been ruled out of the second Test against India, commencing here on Friday, unable to recover from a rib injury, which had forced him to sit out of the opening game in Kanpur also.
Besides Neesham being ruled out, arrival of veteran offspinner Jeetan Patel, who has been called in as a replacement for injured Mark Craig, is also delayed.
Neesham’s recovery is being monitored and giving an update on him, New Zealand team media said, “At present he’s not fit for the Kolkata Test. But we are monitoring his recovery constantly and at the moment can’t say whether he would be out for the entire series. We will take a call on him before the third Test (in Indore)”.
Kiwi coach Mike Hesson told New Zealand media they’re not able to name any replacement for Neesham.
“We are not able to get any replacement in time who is a batting allrounder. Unfortunately, we have got a few other injuries at home as well, which makes that really challenging,” he said.Meanwhile, Patel will arrive not before late tonight as his flight earlier got cancelled.
“Unfortunately his flight from England got cancelled as he has boarded another flight and will arrive late tonight,” NZ media manager told.
This means Patel will have just a little over 24 hours to acclimatise before becoming New Zealand’s third spinning option for the crucial second Test, which they must win to save the three-match series having lost the opening game by 197 runs.