James Neesham is back in the New Zealand Test squad - Sportzwiki
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James Neesham is back in the New Zealand Test squad

James Neesham is back in the New Zealand Test squad for the tour of Australia.

After missing out in a couple of series due to injury, James Neesham is fit and back to the New Zealand squad. Neesham has been included in the squad at the expense of Neil Wagner.

The rest of the 15-man squad that will play three Tests in Australia – including the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide – is the same as the touring party that drew 1-1 with England earlier this year.

Trent Boult and Corey Anderson have also been included in the squad after missing out the limited-overs tour of South Africa with back related stress problems. New Zealand’s key batsman Ross Taylor is back in the squad who is returning after a groin injury.

Neesham inclusion has encouraged the selectors to take only four frontline fast bowlers to Australia. The New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said it would be more valuable to have the remainder of the fast bowlers in contention bowling on domestic cricket back home.

“A lot of our recent success has been based on the value of our No.6 batsman bowling some overs, and we’re comfortable continuing in that vein,” Hesson said. “Rather than having an extra fast bowler not playing in Australia, we thought it more prudent for those in contention to remain in New Zealand and be playing domestic cricket.”

Mark Craig is the only spinner in the squad, but a backup wicketkeeper has been included, with Luke Ronchi remaining the second in line behind BJ Watling. Ronchi scored 88 on Test debut in Leeds this year.

“This is a tour in which we spend quite a lot of time on the west coast of Australia and, given what happened to BJ’s knee in England, it seems wise to have options close at hand,” Hesson said.

The tour of Australia begins with a Test at the Gabba starting on November 5, followed by a Test at the WACA and then the historic day-night Test at Adelaide Oval beginning on November 27.

“It makes sense to have our fringe Test players included in these matches,” Hesson said. “It’s good to keep them involved in high-level cricket, especially on the cusp of the tour to Australia. We know at some stage someone will be required – that’s the attritional nature of a three-match Test series.”

New Zealand Test squad: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Hamish Rutherford, Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum (capt), Ross Taylor, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Luke Ronchi, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.

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