Pa­tel set for ODI de­but for NZ

Otago Daily Times - - RACING & SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTER

AJAZ Pa­tel could be set to make his one­day in­ter­na­tional de­but this week.

The 30­year­old left arm spin­ner has joined the Black Caps in the UAE as cover for Todd As­tle, who has an ir­ri­tated right knee.

As­tle re­mains a 50­50 chance to play in tonight’s first ODI against Pak­istan in Abu Dhabi, but was more likely to be avail­able later in the se­ries.

‘‘Todd’s made good progress over the past cou­ple of days and with his in­volve­ment in both the ODI and test squads, we’re keen to give him ev­ery chance to be right,’’ coach Gary Stead said.

‘‘It does pre­sent an­other op­por­tu­nity for Ajaz.

‘‘He’s im­pressed us dur­ing the UAE tour so far and we have full con­fi­dence he can do a job for this team in the 50­over for­mat.’’

Also join­ing the squad are Lockie Fer­gu­son and Ge­orge Worker, who comes in for the in­jured Mar­tin Gup­till.

‘‘Lockie pos­sesses raw pace and of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent to the other three quicks in the squad who are pre­dom­i­nantly new ball bowlers,’’ Stead said.

‘‘He’s per­formed well over the past 12 months and we’re hop­ing he can bring some real ag­gres­sion to those mid­dle overs in the in­nings.

‘‘Ge­orge has been knock­ing on the door for a while and has hardly put a foot wrong in the chances he has had with the Black Caps.

‘‘We know he’s a qual­ity player and this se­ries will be a good test of where he is at.’’

Mean­while all­rounder Corey An­der­son was not con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion, af­ter miss­ing the fi­nal twenty20 with an in­jured heel.

He will re­turn home for fur­ther as­sess­ment.

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