"it Is Time To Stand Up And Play More Of International Cricket" - Todd Astle > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - "Time to step up and play more international cricket" - Todd Astle

6 years, 3 Tests, 32 years of age - Todd Astle is still optimistic about a comeback in the age of the wristspinner.

Todd Astle, the New Zealand all-rounder, said that he was excited to be back in the Test setup and hoped to establish his place in the side ahead of the three-match Test series versus Bangladesh, starting on February 28 in Hamilton.

"I am more excited than anything," he said. "It has been a long time between my Test performances. I played one in 2012, one in 2016 and then another one in 2018. For me, it is nice to be back and get regular opportunities. I have played for a number of years for Canterbury so now hopefully I can kick on and play more international cricket.

"I have been around the [first-class] block for a while. It is time to step up and play more international cricket in the Test arena. Our fast bowlers have been so good in our own conditions. For me, it is to do the best I can whatever the situation I face. I am just looking to build on what has worked for me, over a number of years in first-class cricket. I am trying to bring what I can to the table," he added.

After their series wins against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, New Zealand have moved to No. 2 in the Test rankings. "I think we are focused on the first day of the first Test, and then onto the three-match series. We have obviously gone up to No. 2 in the Test rankings. It is great for us. It is a testament to our group and how well we have played over the last couple of years."

Astle was preferred ahead of the likes of Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi and William Somerville for the Test series versus Bangladesh. Incidentally, both Ajaz and Somerville had done well in the UAE. Astle, alongside Sodhi, is also in contention to find a place in New Zealand's World Cup squad.

The leg-spinning all-rounder has bagged 320 first-class wickets and recently took four scalps in Canterbury's win over Central Districts in a Plunket Shield game. "I think the selectors have different requirements. It is great to have such depth in the spin department. I know that Bangladesh will see spin as something they can exploit. They are good players of spin, so it is a good challenge for me to see where I am. To restrict them, take wickets, and hopefully allow us to do well," he said.

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