Plunket Shield's other contender, Canterbury, withdrew from its final match of the season following Friday's gruesome attacks leaving competition leader Central Districts as the champion.
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HAMILTON: Todd Astle doesn’t want to talk about the World Cup, but a call-up to the Test side against Bangladesh is a suggestion that a coveted place is within his grasp.If he is picked in the XI in Hamilton, it will only be his fourth Test in more than six years, and the veteran leg-spinner only wants to focus on the longer format for now.Astle said that as a team, too, New Zealand only have the Test series in mind, especially having made great strides recently, including moving to No. 2 in the Test rankings for the first time.I am more excited than anything. It has been a long time between my Test performances.I played one in 2012, one in 2016 and then another one in 2018. For me, it is nice to be back and get regular opportunity.I have played for a number of years for Canterbury so now hopefully I can kick on and play more international cricket, Astle said.I think we are focused on the first day of the first Test, and then on to the three-match series.We have obviously gone up to No. 2 in the Test rankings.
It is great for us. It is a testament to our group and how well we have played over the last couple of years.Astle, who will be competing with Ish Sodhi for a World Cup spot if he is on the selectors’ radar, has been preferred ahead of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for the Bangladesh Tests.He played in the third ODI against Bangladesh, taking 2 for 52, before appearing for Canterbury last week in the Plunkett Shield, where he picked four wickets in his side’s win.He also played in two ODIs against India in January where he took just one wicket.I think the selectors have different requirements.It is great to have such depth in the spin department. I know that Bangladesh will see spin as something they can exploit.They are good players of spin so it is a good challenge for me to see where I am. To restrict them, take wickets, and hopefully allow us to do well, he said.Astle said that a spinner must be patient when bowling behind a strong pace attack. Having taken 320 wickets in 113 first-class games, he wants to use the Test series to establish himself at the highest level.I have been around the (first-class) block for a while. It is time to step up and play more international cricket in the Test arena, he said.Our fast bowlers have been so good in our own conditions. For me, it is to do the best I can whatever the situation I face.
Trapped for eight years since the Canterbury earthquakes and in uncertain condition, the Court Theatre's historic costume and prop collection may see …