Wellington - New
Zealand have boosted their spin options against South Africa by including
Jeetan Patel in a 13-man squad for the three-Test series against the Proteas
beginning next week.
Off-spinner Patel and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham were the two
players recalled to the squad on Friday, coming in at the expense of quick Matt
Henry and batsman Dean Brownlie.
Selectors also confirmed that short-ball specialist Neil
Wagner was fit for the series after a hand injury last month put him under an
As expected, there was no room for opening bat Martin
Guptill, despite his unbeaten 180 this week in the fourth one-day international
against the Proteas in Hamilton.
Patel, 36, has had a stop-start 21-Test career, making his
debut in 2006 but dropping off the radar from 2013-2016 before joining the
Black Caps' tour of India.
After returning home, he was discarded again for Test series
against Pakistan and Bangladesh but has enjoyed a strong domestic season with
Chief selector Gavin Larsen said Patel had the ability to
turn the ball away from South Africa's left-handers, complementing fellow spinner
"He brings a huge amount of experience to the team and
gives us the balance of having two front-line spin options," Larsen said.
The first Test begins in Dunedin on Wednesday followed by
two more in Wellington and Hamilton later this month.
Before then, the Black Caps and South Africa face-off in an
Auckland decider on Saturday for the one-day series, which is currently locked
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain) Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeetan Patel, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling