Blackcaps vs Bangladesh: Todd Astle earns test recall

Todd Astle takes the final wicket against England at Eden Park, 2018.
Todd Astle takes the final wicket against England at Eden Park, 2018. Photo credit: Photosport

Canterbury leg-spinner Todd Astle is set for a test return, after being named in the Blackcaps squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh.

The 32-year-old last wore white for New Zealand in the pink-ball test against England last March, before injury curtailed his season. Astle missed the second test against the tourists, then another injury setback ended his tour of the UAE before he had bowled a ball.

Astle's inclusion comes at the expense of Ajaz Patel, who played both tests against Sri Lanka in December.

The rest of the squad is unchanged from the side that won that series 1-0, meaning continued recovery for Mitchell Santner, who will return to red-ball cricket in the next round of the Plunket Shield.

Gavin Larsen is delighted with the stability of the five-day side, which is looking for an unprecedented five-series winning streak in tests.

"One of the hallmarks of this group is how tight they are and we've seen them really galvanise as a tough test unit over the past few years.

“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. 

"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 first test of the series starts in Hamilton on Thursday, with the final two games of the home summer in Wellington and Christchurch respectively.

Blackcaps: Kane Williamson, Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Will Young, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner

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