Auckland, Dec 15 (UiTV/IANS) – New Zealand selectors have brought back leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and Glenn Phillips and also picked uncapped Blair Tickner to the Test squad for the upcoming tour of Pakistan.
The 30-year-old Sodhi returns to the squad four years on from his last international outing in whites while the South Africa-born Phillips played his only Test in January 2020 against Australia in Sydney.
Both of them along with Tickner have been included in the 15-member New Zealand Test squad that will play two Test matches in Pakistan the first of which starts in Karachi on December 26.
The tour will be Tim Southee’s first as Test captain after Kane Williamson earlier on Thursday announced he was stepping down as skipper in the longest format.
Sodhi has played 125 white-ball games for the Black Caps and been a mainstay in the T20 side – recently becoming just the fifth male player in the world to claim 100 T20I wickets.
Despite not being able to play a lot of red-ball cricket of late, Sodhi has a strong first-class record featuring 279 wickets at an average of 33, with 16 five-wicket bags and two ten-wicket hauls, the New Zealand Cricket said in a release on Thursday.
Like Sodhi, the 26-year-old Phillips has made his name in the T20I format, racking up 56 international caps and a current ICC T20I batting ranking of seven. He will partner the 10-wickets-in-an-innings fame, Ajaz Patel, as the second spinner on the Pakistan tour.
Tickner featured in the Black Caps’ Test squads for the series against South Africa at the end of the home summer and away to England in the winter, but is yet to debut, after playing 20 white-ball internationals.
Coach Gary Stead congratulated the trio on their inclusion in the squad.