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Neesham and Latham replace Ryder and Bracewell for second Test

A couple of men behaving badly have been replaced by cricketers playing well with James Neesham and Tom Latham being included in the New Zealand squad for the second Test against India.


A couple of men behaving badly have been replaced by cricketers playing well with James Neesham and Tom Latham being included in the New Zealand squad for the second Test against India.

The pair replace Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell who were not considered for selection after going out drinking on the eve of the first Test last week.

Both players, who were not in the playing 11 in Auckland, were fined by New Zealand Cricket after not contesting a misconduct charge.

Not only will Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell not play against India in the second Test but now the New Zealand cricket duo’s wallets are a bit lighter after being fined for a late night out.

The pair were out drinking until 3am on the eve of the first Test in Auckland last week and have accepted a charge of misconduct brought by New Zealand Cricket.

Head of cricket operations Lindsay Crocker said the players have been fined in line with the terms and conditions of their individual player agreements.

The amount of the fine is confidential.

Bracewell broke a bone in his foot during the night and both were ruled out of selection contention for the second Test starting in Wellington on Friday by team management.

Coach Mike Hesson spoke of his disappointment in the pair when speaking to media on Monday after New Zealand’s dramatic 40-run win in the opening Test of the two-Test series.

“The fact that we won a Test match yesterday and the fact that first few questions are based around off-field incidents is clearly an extreme disappointment for the team,” he said.

“It takes away from a superb effort over the last four days.”

Crocker said the pair had done themselves no good in the eyes of Hesson and national selection manager Bruce Edgar.

“The New Zealand selectors place great emphasis on qualities such as personal responsibility, trustworthiness and dependability – and will continue to do so with our encouragement.

“All players in contention for the Black Caps need to satisfy the selectors of their commitment to prepare conscientiously for international fixtures,” he said.

Ryder, playing for Otago, was dismissed for a first-ball duck on Monday, hours after learning of his omission from the Test squad.

Canterbury top order batsman Tom Latham is tipped to take his place in the squad for the second Test when it is named on Tuesday with paceman Hamish Bennett or allrounder James Neesham in line to take Bracewell’s spot in the 13.

Their misbehaviour clears the way for the uncapped pair of Neesham and Latham to come into the squad for the final Test of the series beginning on Friday.

Latham is included as cover for Ross Taylor whose wife is expecting their second child and national selection manager Bruce Edgar says if the baby is not born before the start of the Test then the 21-year-old Latham would win his first Test cap.

“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,” he said.

Latham lies second on the run-scoring charts for the Plunket Shield and has played 13 one-day internationals and seven T20s for his country.

Allrounder Neesham, 23, who featured in the one-day series win against India, is fresh from a blazing 147 for Otago.

“We see Jimmy as a genuine allrounder who can play a number of roles for us. His form with both bat and ball in the Plunket Shield this season speaks for itself,” said Edgar.

New Zealand leads the series 1-0 after a 40-run win in Auckland.

Squad: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Hamish Rutherford, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.