Astle earns New Zealand call
Canterbury leg-spinner Todd Astle is the only uncapped player in New Zealand’s 15-man Test squad to tour Sri Lanka.
Astle, 26, has been chosen ahead of Tarun Nethula as the Black Caps’ second specialist spin option alongside Jeetan Patel, with Daniel Vettori unavailable due to an Achilles injury he picked up during the recent World Twenty20.
National selection manager Kim Littlejohn explained the reasons for Astle’s inclusion.
“He has the ability to contribute in all three facets of the game and deserves his opportunity after putting in consistent performances over a number of seasons,” said Littlejohn.
Opening batsman Rob Nicol, who represented Gloucestershire this summer, returns to the five-day squad, while the injured Vettori, Doug Bracewell and Martin Guptill will miss the preceding T20 and one-day international series.
“Doug Bracewell will miss the short-form matches so he can spend some time working on a few minor technical issues with his action," Littlejohn added. “The best approach is to spend time getting things right in domestic four-day cricket ahead of the Test series.
“It has been a demanding period for the Black Caps, especially for the players who compete in all three forms. As part of the ongoing management of player workload we have decided to rest Martin Guptill for the T20 and ODI matches so he can refresh for the upcoming international commitments.”
Trent Boult, Andrew Ellis and Tom Latham have been recalled to the limited-overs fold after missing out on selection for the World Twenty20.
The tour begins with a T20 in Pallekele on October 30, followed by five ODIs and two Tests.
New Zealand Test squad for tour of Sri Lanka: Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (captain), Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Todd Astle, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Jeetan Patel, Chris Martin.
ODI and Twenty20 squad: Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor (captain), Kane Williamson, BJ Watling, James Franklin, Jacob Oram, Tom Latham, Nathan McCullum, Andrew Ellis, Kyle Mills, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ronnie Hira, Adam Milne.