Wellington off-spinner Jeetan Patel has been recalled to the Black Caps test squad to replace Mark Craig, who has been ruled out of the remaining two tests against India with a side strain.



Patel (36) last played for the test side in 2013, but has been a star performer for Warwickshire on the UK county circuit and has been called up as a like-for-like replacement for Craig.



Coach Mike Hesson said it was important to have an off-spinner in India, and that Patel fitted the bill 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," said Hesson.

Advertisement


"He'll also add invaluable experience to our young spin group."



Craig sustained the injury to his left side while bowling in the second innings of the first Test in Kanpur. He left the field to receive treatment and did not return - but remains available to bat.



"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."



Hesson said the injury was expected to take four weeks to fully recover, and that Craig would return home to start his rehabilitation programme.



The Black Caps second Test against India starts in Kolkata on Friday.