Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes that selection of New Zealand spinner Todd Astle is an ‘interesting’ choice by the hosts in the upcoming two-match Test series commencing November 17.
The South African was intrigued by Astle’s inclusion, claiming that his numbers make him a force to be reckoned with for Pakistan.
“It will be interesting to see how Astle goes,” he said. “I was actually looking at his numbers and doing a bit of analysis and his numbers seem fairly good, I mean he’s certainly an attacking spinner.”
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The 48-year-old added: “I guess if New Zealand are not going to play four pacers in Christchurch, then he’s [Astle] definitely playing which is an interesting selection.”
Pakistan have had their share of problems facing spinners, most evidently in the first Test against West Indies last month where Misbahul Haq-led side collapsed on 123 in the second innings, courtesy an eight-wicket haul from leggie Devendra Bishoo.
For New Zealand, Astle replaced injured left-armer Mitchell Santner as the team’s only specialist spinner, while opening batsman Jeet Raval replaced replaced Martin Guptill. De Grandhomme will be vying for the all-rounder’s role with Jimmy Neesham.
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Speaking on the decision to drop Guptill, Arthur said that he respects New Zealand’s selectors for making such a ‘big decision’.
“They New Zealand’s selectors seem to have made some fairly big decisions, particularly on Guptill,” he said. “Guptill is a guy who can take it away from you, but his numbers obviously haven’t stacked up. Ultimately though, I’ve got a lot of respect for the selectors and they know exactly what they’re up to.”
Nevertheless, Arthur maintained that the difference between the two sides would eventually come down to which side performs better with the bat.
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“We’ve got some pretty handy swing and seam bowlers,” he said. “But, I still think it’s going to be top seven versus top seven really because both sides possess really good bowling attacks in all departments.”
Pakistan are currently in Nelson for their three-day match against New Zealand A, with the first day being washed out due to rain.
Mickey Arthur was quoted by stuff.co.nz
Courtesy : Express Tribune