New Zealand team has suffered a massive blow ahead of the ODI series against Pakistan as two of their strike players have suffered injuries. All-rounder Corey Anderson’s heel injury has forced his exit while leg-spinner Todd Astle too is uncertain for the all-important three-match ODI series.
Anderson and Astle important for New Zealand
Corey Anderson brings much-needed balance to the Kiwi team with his all-round abilities. His medium-pace is effective while with the bat he is capable of hitting big-shots in the middle order.
He didn’t feature in the last T20I against Pakistan and such is the severity of his injury that he will be flying back home.
Todd Astle on the other hand is an essential cog of New Zealand’s bowling unit. His leg-break could be highly effective on the Asian surfaces but he is currently suffering from knee issues. Hence his participation in the ODI series is still unconfirmed.
Astle could be out for Test series as well: New Zealand coach
Speaking about Astle’s injuries, coach Gary Stead said that they will wait and see how Todd scrubs up on the morning of 07th and they will have more of an idea whether he’s a chance for the second and third ODIs.
Stead revealed that if the answer is no then it’s probably going to rule him out for the Tests as well.
The New Zealand coach further added that with the rest Astle had so far and the recovery showing, if it is not going to improve then he won’t be able to get the loads that they need a frontline spinner to get through.
Ajaz Patel roped in as cover for Astle
The Kixi team management has roped in left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel as a cover for Astle.
The left-arm spinner made his T20I debut in the series against Pakistan and is now a part of the ODI squad as well.
Speaking about Ajaz, Stead feels that it presents another opportunity for Ajaz. The coach admitted that the spinner impressed them during the UAE tour so far and they have full confidence that he can do a job for this team in the 50-over format.