Astle up for Black Caps return
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.