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Posts tagged as Todd Astle

Astle wants to focus on Test cricket

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.

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‘Anybody can beat anybody’: Test upsets keep Black Caps wary

HAMILTON (AFP) – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said Wednesday recent Test upsets mean “anybody can beat anybody” and the world number two ranked side can have no room for complacency against minnows Bangladesh.
The Black Caps made history this week when they were elevated to second in the ICC Test team rankings for the first time following South Africa’s shock 2-0 defeat at home to Sri Lanka, the only time an Asian team has won a series in South Africa.It came hot on the heels of the eighth-ranked West Indies also enjoying a stunning result at home by winning a Test series against England for the first time since 2009.Sri Lanka over in South Africa was a fantastic effort, said Williamson when naming his team for the opening match of a three-match Test series against Bangladesh which begins in Hamilton on Thursday.
It’s so hard to beat a side like South Africa anywhere, let alone in their backyard, but anybody can beat anybody.Ninth-ranked Bangladesh, who have enjoyed home Test wins against England and Australia in recent years, say Sri Lanka’s victory in South Africa stands as a beacon for them.What Sri Lanka did was remarkable, said Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes.When the boys look at those results it definitely will be an inspiration for them and I will use it in the team talk.
If we play anything like we can do, we will surprise the New Zealanders.New Zealand dominated Sri Lanka before Christmas, leaving Williamson to suggest it was best to shut the rankings out of the conversation.It’s all about winning the series, as in every series that is sort of the goal you take into it, he said.As we’ve seen, the rankings are sometimes in your control and sometimes outside your control so it’s a very difficult thing to focus on.We know if we are playing good cricket day in and day out then perhaps those things will lean your way.New Zealand have made one change from the side that played their last Test, a victory over Sri Lanka two months ago by 423 runs, with Todd Astle coming in for Ajaz Patel.The Seddon Park wicket is usually regarded as a good batting strip but Williamson said it looks a little different this year and he was undecided on what he would do should he win the toss.

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