Todd Astle hasn’t played for New Zealand since making his Test debut in November 2012 © Associated Press
Legspinning allrounder Todd Astle has been given a call up into New Zealand’s Twenty20 side for the three-match series against Pakistan beginning on Friday in Auckland. Astle, 29, made his international debut more than three years ago in the second Test at Sri Lanka in November 2012 but has yet to play a T20 for New Zealand.
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 dropped to make room for Astle.
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 modest returns in the Georgie Pie Super Smash T20 domestic competition for Canterbury, with seven wickets in ten matches including 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.
Nathan McCullum was also unavailable for selection after failing to recover from a knee injury while Tim Southee was also ruled out of the T20 series with a foot injury.
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
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo