New Zealand recall Neesham, Astle for final 2 ODIs vs India

Mount Maunganui: Hours after India took an unbeateable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI rubber, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Monday recalled all-rounder James Neesham and leg-spinner Todd Astle while dropping Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi for the final two One-day Internationals.

Neesham recently made a comeback to the ODI side against Sri Lanka after almost two years where he dished out some powerful performances before missing the solitary T20 International with a hamstring injury.

Astle was picked for the ODIs against Pakistan in November but was ruled out before the first match with a knee injury.

He has so far played only 11 international matches. But with the Kiwis still searching for that winning combination before the ICC World Cup, it will be interesting to see whether he can fit in.

Commenting on the selection, New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said: “Doug and Ish have been two of the brighter spots of the ODI series so far and we’ve been encouraged by their performances against a quality Indian side.

“It’s great to welcome back the all-round skills of Jimmy and Todd and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the series. We’re still looking to keep our options open with selections at this stage and ensure we continue to learn as much as we can about our players,” he added.

The final two ODIs against India will be played in Hamilton and Wellington on January 31 and February 3 respectively.