Cancelled flight delays Patel's arrival

NZ lose allrounder Jimmy Neesham to injury, while Patel's preparation is hampered ahead of possible recall

New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel will have just 24 hours to acclimatise to Indian conditions before a possible Test recall for the second Test at Eden Gardens, starting on Friday.

Patel, who earned a late call-up to NZ's Test squad this week following an injury to off-spinner Mark Craig, is scheduled to arrive in Kolkata in the early hours of Thursday morning (India time) after his original flight out of England was cancelled.

It means the 36-year-old, who played the most recent of his 19 Tests in January 2013, will have just one day to prepare before a possible Test recall.

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But NZ coach Mike Hesson said Patel is professional enough to adjust to the short turnaround, adding that the flight to India from London is less taxing than coming from Auckland.

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"Jeets will be fine. Obviously every extra day you have here the better, but we are in a situation where we needed a pretty quick replacement," Hesson said.

"He certainly adds some experience and some knowledge among our other young spinners."

Patel, who is coming off another stellar season of county cricket with Warwickshire, is expected to form part of a three-pronged spin attack with left-armer Mitchell Santner and legspinner Ish Sodhi.

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Allrounder Jimmy Neesham, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the match due to a rib injury he suffered earlier in the tour.

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With Eden Gardens expected to again favour spinners, Neesham's inclusion as a second seamer in place of Neil Wagner or Trent Boult would have lengthened the batting line-up.

"It takes away options in terms of changing our balance a bit," Hesson said.

"But that's okay. We are not able to get any replacement in time who is a batting allrounder."

New Zealand lost fast bowler Tim Southee to an ankle injury even before the Test series started.

Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja wreaked havoc on a slow, turning track in the first Test in Kanpur, claiming 16 of the 20 Kiwi wickets.

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The home side were pleased with the batting of Cheteshwar Pujara, who struck a half-century in each innings at a strike rate of over 50 to silence his critics and ease the pressure on him.

"I don't think Pujara has ever breathed easily from all you guys' perspective and some people who are constantly watching him," Indian coach Anil Kumble said.

"But at least from a team perspective and team management, there's absolutely no pressure on Pujara.

"He is a very important cog in our team and we've seen over the years his contribution. Even in the last match, we saw the importance of his contribution to the team's cause."

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