Astle gets Kiwi recall after three years

Djokovic plays down nerves over recent form

Todd Astle has been recalled to New Zealand’s squad for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Pakistan, despite not playing for the Black Caps for more than three years.

Astle, who is a leg-spinning allrounder, has played in one Test match, against Sri Lanka in November 2012, will replace Ish Sodhi from the squad that did duty recently against Sri Lanka.

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson says they will take three spinners to the T20 World Cup in India next year and that it was important for them to have a look at what Astle could offer.

Hesson said: “With the spin friendly conditions we’re likely to play in during the ICC World Twenty20 in India, it’s important we have all of our bases covered.

“Todd is certainly an option for us. He has been a consistent performer for Canterbury over a number of seasons.”

Senior batsman Ross Taylor will be rested for the first game of the series, in Auckland on Friday, while seamer Tim Southee was ruled out with a foot injury.

New Zealand T20I squad: Kane Williamson (capt.), Corey Anderson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (first game only), Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ross Taylor

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