New Zealand are on the verge of losing the first Test against India by a huge margin despite putting up a good showing. To add to their misery ,there is further bad news for the Kiwis going into the second Test at Kolkata starting on September 30.
After missing out on the services of their pace spearhead, Tim Southee due to injury prior to the start of the series, New Zealand are now set to miss the services of off-spinner Mark Craig, who is ruled out of the remainder of the Test series due to a side-strain.
Craig was a part of the first Test, picking up just two wickets and added only 2 runs in the only innings he batted so far. It has been revealed that Craig will take at least 4 weeks to recover and will return to New Zealand for rehab.
The New Zealand Cricket have announced off-spinner Jeetan Patel as a replacement for Craig and he is expected to join the team soon. The spinner of Indian origin last played a test for New Zealand against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 2013.
Patel has been in a stunning form for Warwickshire on the UK county circuit and the visitors will be hoping he will replicate his county success in the remaining two Tests. In the 19 tests he played, Patel has taken 52 wickets at an average of 48.46. In the recently concluded county season, Patel scalped 69 wickets in 16 matches at a decent average of 24.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said it’s always important to have an off-spinner in India and that Patel fitted in the position perfectly.
“Jeetan is up to speed from a bowling load perspective having recently completed a successful county season - so he will be ready for the rigours of Test cricket. He'll also add invaluable experience to our young spin group,” Hesson said.
He also confirmed that Craig is available to bat in the second innings and was disappointed for Craig.
Hesson added, “We’re really disappointed for Mark, knowing the work he’s put in to prepare for this series. He started well with the ball in the first innings, before developing the side strain.”