New Zealand named an unchanged starting XI Tuesday for the second Test against India but called in new injury cover to replace disgraced duo Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell.
The selectors turned to Otago all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and Canterbury batsman Tom Latham after dropping Ryder and Bracewell over their booze-fuelled antics before the first Test in Auckland.
Neesham is on standby in case of a late injury to the Black Caps’ bowling attack, while Latham will replace Ross Taylor if the veteran’s second child, expected at any time, has not arrived by the start of the Test.
Both Neesham, 23, and Latham, 21, are uncapped in the Test arena.
“We see Jimmy as a genuine all-rounder who can play a number of roles for us,” selector Bruce Edgar said.
“Tom’s an incredibly exciting prospect and is constantly pushing for selection. If called upon, we’re confident that he’ll take the opportunity with both hands.”
If Taylor plays in the match beginning in Wellington on Friday it will mean the Black Caps’ starting line-up has been unchanged for four successive Tests, an unusually settled period for the New Zealanders.
Over that time, they have enjoyed a 2-0 series win over the West Indies and scored a 40-run victory over India in a thrilling opening Test
“We’ve been able to keep a settled side recently and strung together some successful results along the way,” Edgar said. “We hope to keep that going, but are well aware India will come back at us hard.”
Ryder and Bracewell were fined and ruled out of contention for the Wellington Test after going on a late-night drinking session on the eve of the first match.
New Zealand: Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.