Todd Astle has been picked over Ajaz Patel in New Zealand’s 13-man squad for the three-Test series against Bangladesh.
Astle hasn’t been part of the Test side since a knee problem ruled him out of the second Test against England last June. He missed the subsequent tour of the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan as well.
Patel made his debut in UAE to much acclaim, picking a five-wicket haul to help New Zealand squeeze a thrilling four-run win against Pakistan. But his form has petered out, and Astle returns to the side, having eased his way back after a knee surgery.
BREAKING: Following the 3-0 series sweep against Bangladesh, New Zealand have overtaken South Africa in the @MRFWorldwide ICC ODI Team Rankings.— ICC (@ICC) February 20, 2019
They now sit at No.3.
“It's great though to have Todd fit again and we're keen to see what his wrist-spin can offer in New Zealand conditions, and he'll also bolster the batting," said Gavin Larsen, the selector.
"The spinning position has been the only real area we've changed and that's been largely dependent on conditions and injuries.
“We're in a fortunate position having a number of high-quality spinners available, and it's a tough call on Ajaz who was a star of the UAE tour.”
Apart from that, there’s no real change to the squad from the side that took on Sri Lanka. Will Young continues to be involved as “batting cover”, while Mitchell Santner’s misses out again, with his rehabilitation after a major knee surgery being carefully managed.
The first of the three Tests starts on 28 February in Hamilton.
Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Will Young.
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