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Todd Astle set to debut in the ODI series against India

The 31-over-old was one of the positives in the recently concluded One-Day series against India A.

Todd Astle of New Zealand
Todd Astle of New Zealand throws the ball prior to a New Zealand nets session at Hagley Oval on November 16, 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

New Zealand youngster Todd Astle is set to make his debut in the ODI series against India after being picked over Ish Sodhi. Both the bowlers were tested during the One-Day series against India A which concluded on Sunday and Astle emerged as a favourite pick of the selectors. However, Sodhi was included in the T20I squad which will play a 3-match series after the conclusion of the One-Day International series.

The Canterbury-born cricketer has been one of the best bowlers in the domestic season for a long time now and will finally represent his country in the 50-overs format. He has already played a couple of Tests and as many T20Is for New Zealand. His fortunes changed with a stunning spell of 4/22 in the tied game against India in Visakhapatnam. His all-round ability and his fitness also put him ahead of the likes of Tom Seifert and Tom Blundell in the ODI side.

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Sodhi very much in our plans

The best thing that worked in Astle’s favour was a special praise from the legendary player and the coach of India A team Rahul Dravid after his excellent spell in the tied game. The selector Gavin Larsen who witnessed his bowling live in the stadium also hailed him for his bowling in that spell and also said that Dravid mentioned to his boys that Astle had bowled one of the best spells in the Indian conditions.

“Nine overs, four for 22 against very good opposition with a damp-ish ball that was hard to control. He didn’t bowl a bad ball in that spell. The one and only Rahul Dravid said to me he told his team that he’d just witnessed one of the best legspin displays in Indian conditions. That’s some accolade,” Larsen said.

He also cleared that Ish Sodhi who was dropped from ODI squad is under observation and in their plans for future.

“He’s still very much on our radar and is very talented. We all know what a good bowler Ish is. He needs to keep working hard on his fitness. It’s been trying conditions for him over here, but I stress he’s still got a massive future in New Zealand Cricket,” he added.

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