Pakistan vs New Zealand: Todd Astle ruled out of the Test series; replacement announced

The Test series will begin on November 16.

Todd Astle
Todd Astle of New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Pakistan and New Zealand are currently fighting it out in the three-match ODI series and the visitors’ injury woes are not ending. Corey Anderson was earlier ruled out of the series and the latest to enter the list is Todd Astle who is suffering from a knee injury. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced the 34-year-old William Somerville as his replacment for the three-match Test series.

Somerville played 16 first-class matches for New South Wales but requested to be released from the contract earlier this year in order to join Auckland Aces to qualify to play for New Zealand, his country of birth. In the two matches which he played this season in Plunket Shield, Somerville has picked seven wickets and will most probably make his debut for the Kiwis in the opening Test of the series starting from November 16.


He bowls with good control and variation

The chief selector Gavin Larsen backed Somerville to come good in the favourable conditions and also pointed out his ability to bat down the order which must have possibly given him the edge over others. “We’ve been keeping a close eye on Will and like the look of his all-round game and skill-set. He bowls with good control and variation, while his added height means he gets that extra bit of bounce.

“He’s also a handy batsman down the order, as he showed with his half-century in the most recent round of the Ford Trophy (against Wellington),” Larsen was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

The other spinners in the squad are Ajaz Patel and Ish Sodhi. It is very much possible that all the three players might make it to the playing XI with the turning surfaces in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Updated New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson(c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Jeet Raval, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, William Somerville.

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