New Zealand leg-spinner Todd Astle has retired from the Test cricket just before the two-match series against India. Astle was to be NZ’s frontline spinner for the series but he has decided to quit red-ball cricket to focus on his white-ball career. Astle had made his Test debut back in 2012 against Sri Lanka but only played five Tests.
After 2012, he made a comeback in playing XI in home Test against Pakistan in 2016 and played his next game against England in 2018. His next Test appearance came a year later against Bangladesh and he warmed bench on the Sri Lanka tour. Astle’s final Test appearance came against Australia in Sydney recently.
Astle ends his red-ball career with 334 wickets in 119 first-class matches. He had made his first-class debut for Canterbury back in 2005.
“Playing Test cricket was always the dream and I’m so honoured to have represented my country and province in the longest form of the game. Red-ball cricket is the pinnacle, but also requires a huge amount of time and effort. As I’ve got to the back end of my career I’ve found it harder to maintain the level of commitment required to be fully invested in this version of the game,” he said.
His absence for the India Test series confirms a comeback for Ajaz Patel, who wasn’t selected for Australia tour as the second spinner. He was pipped by Will Somerville for a place in the Test squad when the visitors needed a replacement for Trent Boult. Mitchell Santner isn’t a confirmed selection in the Test team.
Astle isn’t a part of ongoing T20 series against India but with him focusing on white-ball cricket, he will eye a spot in the squad for T20 World cup. He isn’t in the fray to make a comeback for India ODIs as well but Astle recently played for New Zealand A against India A.
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