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Spin options in New Zealand ODI squad for Pakistan

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The BLACKCAPS have selected two spin options in their ODI squad to face Pakistan in the opening two matches of the GJ Gardner Homes Series. Allrounders Todd Astle and Mitchell Santner both feature in the 13 man squad, with Martin Guptill also returning to the side. The opening match of the series is on 6 January at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen said having both Astle and Santner gave the team options.

“Todd made the most of his opportunity against the West Indies and made a strong contribution with both bat and ball,” said Larsen. “Mitchell has been one of our most consistent white ball bowlers for a long time now, as can be seen by him being ranked in the top 10 ODI bowlers in the world. Conditions will dictate whether they play in the same eleven, but it’s certainly not out of the question."

Larsen said it it was good to have Guptill back, while acknowledging George Worker was unfortunate to miss out.

“Martin is a proven world class player, so we’re naturally thrilled to have him back in the mix. He and Colin have been strong for us at the top of the order. It’s tough on George missing out, but he’ll continue to push for selection and will get further opportunities down the road."

The squad will first train in Wellington on 5 January.

BLACKCAPS ODI squad

Kane Williamson (c) - Northern Districts

Todd Astle - Canterbury

Trent Boult - Northern Districts

Doug Bracewell - Central Districts

Lockie Ferguson - Auckland

Martin Guptill - Auckland

Matt Henry - Canterbury

Tom Latham - Canterbury

Colin Munro - Auckland

Henry Nicholls - Canterbury

Mitchell Santner - Northern Districts

Tim Southee - Northern Districts

Ross Taylor - Central Districts