New Zealand have announced 13-man squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against Bangladesh.
After comfortably thrashing 3-0 in the ODI series. the concentration now shifts to the longer format of the game. The Kiwis have included Todd Astle, who is set to return in Test cricket after a long-term knee injury.
Astle had a struggling last year due to injuries and he missed a lot of matches during this period. He missed the second Test against England in June and the tour of UAE last year, when another spinner Azaj Patel made his debut. However, after the recovery, New Zealand have decided to prefer Astle over Azaj.
New Zealand’s selector Gavin Larsen said –
“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. 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,” he added.
Patel picked a five-wicket haul on debut in Abu Dhabi, but he wasn’t up to the mark after that. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad is unchanged from the one that took on Sri Lanka. Will Young has again been included whereas Mitchell Santner continues to miss out owing to his ongoing recovery from a knee surgery.
Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Will Young.