As­tle up for Black Caps re­turn

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

Welling­ton: Ex­pect Can­ter­bury leg spin­ner Todd As­tle to re­turn to the New Zealand test cricket team when the 13-man squad for the Pak­istan se­ries is an­nounced to­day.

As­tle’s likely to edge out Ish Sodhi af­ter in­cum­bent spin­ner Mitchell Sant­ner frac­tured his wrist bat­ting in the nets last week. A leg spin­ner ap­pears prefer­able to take the ball away from Pak­istan’s right-han­ders.

They used five in their top six against the West Indies. The venue for the first test, Ha­gley Oval, also saw 24 wick­ets fall to spin in the re­cent Plun­ket Shield match be­tween Can­ter­bury and Cen­tral Dis­tricts. As­tle earned his maiden test cap al­most four years ago in the win against Sri Lanka at Colombo. His re­sume this sea­son is strong with 14 first-class wick­ets from three matches at 18.07 - 11 of those came at Ha­gley Oval. He also made his high­est first-class score of 195 at the venue against North­ern Dis­tricts last month, as part of a 44.50 av­er­age this sea­son.

As­tle is still listed to play for New Zealand ‘A’ against Pak­istan in Nel­son on Fri­day.

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