India vs New Zealand 2017: Injured Todd Astle could be ruled out of ODI series
What’s the story?
New Zealand all-rounder Todd Astle, part of the squad for the upcoming ODI series against India, could be ruled out after getting injured during his team’s practice game against the Board President’s XI in Mumbai.
A spokesperson for the Black Caps said that Astle is being monitored carefully, and a call on his participation will be taken after due assessment.
In case you didn’t know…
Astle, who was one of the six members added to the nine-man New Zealand team for the India tour, is yet to play a single ODI. Son of Alec Astle, a former first-class player, Todd has featured in two Tests and as many T20Is till date.
The heart of the matter
The 31-year-old leg spinner suffered a strain to his groin while playing for the Kiwis at the Brabourne Stadium, pulling out midway after bowling three deliveries in his first over. Captain Kane Williamson had to fill in for him and finish the over.
Picked ahead of Ish Sodhi, the leggie who toured India last year, Astle was in fine form during the series between India A and New Zealand A, picking up six wickets from five games.
Astle is closely being monitored by the management in the lead-up to the first ODI at Mumbai on October 22. If Astle doesn’t recover in time, the selectors might have to fall back on the tried-and-tested Sodhi to hurl some leggies.
Astle fizzled out after his debut five years ago, but has been making all the right noise at the domestic level ever since. His four-wicket spell in one of the games impressed selector Gavin Larsen, who later conceded that Rahul Dravid, the opposition coach, also had words of praise for the leg-spinner.
It will be a crushing feeling for the 31-year-old if he fails to recover in time, especially after having done so well recently to earn a recall to the side. While Sodhi played three of the five ODIs against India in the 2016 tour, he didn’t seem as threatening, taking just four wickets from five games.
In the event that Sodhi is named the replacement, the India-born spinner, who is part of the T20I squad, would also look to contribute with an improved performance in the ODIs as well.