Gavin Larsen: Todd Astle's batting saw him get the nod over Ish Sodhi

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Ish Sodhi remains on the outer with the Black Caps test squad. Despite strong recent form, the leg spinner has been left out of the 12 to face England in the two-test series starting next week. Canterbury's Todd Astle has been picked as the lone spinner for the series, with fellow-tweaker Mitchell Santner ruled out of cricket for six to nine months following knee surgery. Selector Gavin Larsen insists Sodhi is still in consideration. "He played very, very well in the white ball cricket, as we saw. Ish is still a young leg spinner and developing his craft and the next step for him is to move that red ball game going forward." Larsen told the Radio Sport Brekafast that Astle's batting saw him get the nod ahead of Sodhi. "His bowling we believe is top drawer, but we've always seen Toddy as our incumbent second spinner behind Mitch. With Mitch out now with injury, Toddy will take his role and it's an all-rounder's role." Sodhi has been released from the two New Zealand XI two-day matches to return to Northern Districts for the Plunket Shield.

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