New Zealand news January 10, 2016

Astle called up for Pakistan T20s

ESPNcricinfo staff

Todd Astle hasn't played for New Zealand since making his Test debut in November 2012 © Associated Press

Legspinning allrounder Todd Astle has been called up to New Zealand's Twenty20 squad for the three-match series against Pakistan, beginning on Friday in Auckland. Astle, 29, played one Test more three years ago, in Sri Lanka, but has yet to play a limited-overs international.

Ish Sodhi, who played in three of the five ODIs in the recent home series against Sri Lanka and took 1 for 33 in the first T20 at Mount Mauganui on Thursday, has been left out to make room for Astle. This does not mean Sodhi is out of the reckoning for a World T20 berth however.

Last week coach Mike Hesson had said New Zealand were likely to take three spinners to the World T20 in India, but that given the nature of surfaces in New Zealand, only a limited number of spinners could play a role in the home series. Left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner is the other slow-bowling option in this 13-man squad.

"With the spin friendly conditions we're likely to play in during the ICC World Twenty20 in India, it's important we have all of our bases covered," Hesson said. "Todd is certainly an option for us. He has been a consistent performer for Canterbury over a number of seasons."

Astle worked his way back into the selection frame with an 11-wicket match haul for New Zealand A against Sri Lanka A at Lincoln in October. Astle had middling returns in the Georgie Pie Super Smash T20 domestic competition for Canterbury, with seven wickets in ten matches, an economy rate of 6.48, and 46 runs in six innings. However, in the current Ford Trophy domestic 50-over competition, Astle has been in excellent form. He is tied for second with 11 wickets at 11.18 and also has 147 runs at 73.50 in five games.

Tom Latham was added to the squad for the first T20I only as cover for Ross Taylor, who is being rested. However, Taylor will be available for the second and third matches of the series.

The Astle-Sodhi swap and Ross Taylor's one-match break are the only changes to the New Zealand squad from the series against Sri Lanka, whom they beat 2-0.

Nathan McCullum was also unavailable for selection after failing to recover from a knee injury while Tim Southee was ruled out of the T20 series with a bruised left foot.

New Zealand T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt.), Corey Anderson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (first game only), Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ross Taylor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on January 12, 2016, 18:32 GMT

    @RickyVonCanterbury:- What is it with you Aussies and the animus towards NL today? There was another bloke pounding on him on the Oz-IND ODI board. Look I know he isn't Warne but nobody is and finger spinners will never produce those 'ball of the century" deliveries (or at least the ones that don't cheat won't) like a wrist spinner can. Outside of those that play 65 % of their tests in the SC where Elgar = Underwood I don't know if we will ever see another 300 plus wicket finger spinner with an average under 30. You give Lyon another six years and maybe he could be the exception.

    I love Latham as a test player and could see him being the opener/WK in ODIs but he seems like a fish on a bicycle in slog cricket to me. It's a pity we have to wait almost a year for red ball cricket against PAK but given the disarray amongst our test viable seamers right now (fingers crossed for health against Oz) we might get housed. Riaz will be another yard slower by Nov'16 so that works out for us.

  • Yasein on January 11, 2016, 21:17 GMT

    Ahhhh. All i want is for Pakistan to compete. Is that too much to ask for? It certainly was for Sri Lanka. I hope Pakistan comes out guns blazing and gives us a challenge. They are in our group in the world cup so itll be good practice.

  • Gautam on January 11, 2016, 20:14 GMT

    Only if we Aussies had half a spinner! Lyon wouldn't make it to a decent club in the subcontinent.

  • vinod on January 11, 2016, 18:28 GMT

    @ALEX WARD I absolutely agree with you... worker and devcich shud b in the side...especially devcich...aggressive batsman and more than a useful spinner on turning tracks

  • Junaid on January 11, 2016, 10:45 GMT

    Umar Akmal is talented we all accept, then why selectors & coaches don't use him as opener or come at No 3! If Warner & Finch can open , then why can't Umar Akmal ?

  • Ahdul on January 11, 2016, 9:53 GMT

    I m a pakistani but to be honest i don't have any hope of pakistan winning a single match..

  • Imran on January 11, 2016, 9:38 GMT

    McCullum Will be missed. Looking forward to the series.

  • jared on January 11, 2016, 9:23 GMT

    Little bit surprised by the selections of both Latham and astle who for me are better suited to the longer formats but they are both more than capable and if we need 3 spinners then I too think ASTLE is the man, just a shame its at the cost of sodhi's game time which he desperately needs. ASTLE is probably the guy most likely to challenge santner for the test spinners berth as he probably offers a bit more with the ball and only slightly less with the bat, sodhi on the other hand just needs to keep developing in the shorter formats for a while before playing tests again but he has improved alot in the last year and I don't think it will be too long before he's back in whites.

  • Zain on January 11, 2016, 9:19 GMT

    REALDEALKIWIS. Cheers for the reply. I thought, his personal issues were sorted and he was in a good space!! Would be a waste of talent, if he doesn't get to represent NZ again. I agree with you about the current NZ players. Humble and nice blokes, who deserved to be admired. Take care mate.

  • Saq on January 11, 2016, 8:53 GMT

    @Min2000: Agreed, pal. I wanted a test match so I could see Amir and see if he still has those skills with the red cherry. Especially on NZ pitches. But I think most countries avoiding long format to prepare for T20WC. With PK still chopping and changing the ODI team, I expect an easy win for you guys. But best of luck to us, too. :)

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