Mark Craig New Zealand India
New Zealand spinner Mark Craig, in happier times, after picking up the wicket of India batsman Ajinkya Rahane on Day 1 of the first Test, September 22, 2016Reuters

New Zealand have received another blow to their bowling ranks after off-spinner Mark Craig was ruled out of the rest of the series with a side strain. Fellow spinner Jeetan Patel has been called up as Craig's replacement.

Craig, while not being prolific in the wicket column, was fairly impressive in the first Test, testing the India batsmen time and again with his accurate off-spin bowling.

In the India second innings, there was a spell where Craig seemed to create a chance or two every over, and if not for some iffy fielding and bad luck, he would have ended up with a few more wickets in the first Test match in Kanpur.

Craig finished with figures of 24-6-59-1 and 23-3-80-1 in the two innings.

The 29-year-old, though, did come out to bat for New Zealand on the final day, as the Kiwis attempted to save the Test match against India. However, with that injury bothering him, Craig only lasted two balls, as he was bowled by a brilliant in-swinger from Mohammed Shami.

"We're really disappointed for Mark, knowing the work he's put in to prepare for this series," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said. "He started well with the ball in the first innings, before developing the side strain."

Patel will fly straight to Kolkata – where the second Test match will begin later this week -- from England, where he has impressed for County side Warwickshire. The 36-year-old last played for New Zealand in 2013, but his ability to bowl tight lines and hold one end up, coupled with the fact that he has been picking up wickets in English County cricket, has led to his call-up.

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

Also read