6 Sep 2016

Neesham in, Henry and Ravel out for Black Caps

11:17 am on 6 September 2016

A year after last playing test cricket allrounder Jimmy Neesham is back in the New Zealand side.

The 25 year old Neesham has been named in the squad for the upcoming tour of India, having last played in Australia last year but being forced to return home from that tour with a back injury.

The 15-man squad has three changes from the side which recently toured Africa, with Matt Henry and Jeet Raval dropped and Neesham included.

The Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen said Neesham's all-round ability was key to his inclusion.

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Jimmy Neesham. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Jimmy has put in a lot of work to make sure he is physically ready for a return to Test cricket," said Larsen.

"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.

"Jeet Raval misses out on this tour, but we were really pleased with what we saw of him in Africa. He did everything asked of him and we'll continue to monitor him closely."

Larsen said it was important that the side was well equipped for the spin friendly conditions expected and acknowledged a significant challenge awaited them.

"Mitch Santner and Ish Sodhi will have benefitted 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.

"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."

Matt Henry training with the Black Caps World Cup squad, 2015.

Matt Henry misses out on the tour of India. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Corey Anderson was not considered for the squad, as he continues his recovery from a back injury.

The team will play a three-day warm up in New Delhi ahead of Tests in Kanpur, Kolkata and Indore.

Black Caps Test squad for India

Kane Williamson (c)

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

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