Blackcaps vs India: Jimmy Neesham, Todd Astle recalled for final two one-dayers

If the Blackcaps are looking for the cavalry to save them, it must come in the form of Jimmy Neesham and Todd Astle, who have been recalled for the final two one-day encounters against India this week.

With the five-match series already lost, the NZ selectors have summoned the all-rounder and leg-spinner to the squad for the fixtures in Hamilton on Thursday and Wellington on Sunday, replacing Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi.

Neesham returned to the national cricket side against Sri Lanka earlier this month, averaging 61.5 with the bat over three outings and taking key wickets with the ball in a series sweep. Astle was last part of the NZ set-up against Pakistan in the UAE late last year, but was ruled out with a knee injury before the opening match.   

With the World Cup looming in May, Bracewell and Sodhi have shown flashes of form against India, and they make way for their replacements to stake their claims on spots at that tournament.

"Doug and Ish have been two of the brighter spots of the ODI series so far, and we've been encouraged by their performances against a quality Indian side," says national selector Gavin Larsen.

"It's great to welcome back the all-round skills of Jimmy and Todd, and we're looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the series.

"We're still looking to keep our options open with selections at this stage and ensure we continue to learn as much as we can about our players."

Bracewell was perhaps the pick of the bowlers in the opening loss against India and starred with the bat in the second, cracking a career-high 57 runs off 46 balls in a forlorn chase.

Sodhi has been inconsistent - perhaps the best Blackcaps bowler in the second match, but unable to capture any wickets in his two appearances.

They return to the domestic Super Slam T20 competition to work on their form.

India will also undergo changes for the final two 'dead' rubbers, most notably captain Virat Kohli stepping aside for opening batsman Rohit Sharma to lead the side.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor


Join us at 3pm Thursday for live updates of the fourth Blackcaps vs India ODI at Hamilton.

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