Wellington: Spinner Todd Astle will resume his stop-start Test career against Bangladesh after beating Ajaz Patel for a spot in New Zealand's 13-man squad to face Bangladesh next week, selectors said Friday.
Astle was the only change in the squad that defeated Sri Lanka 1-0 in December to claim an unprecedented fourth Test series in a row for New Zealand.
Selector Gavin Larsen admitted it was "a tough call" to drop Patel, who was outstanding against Pakistan in the UAE.
"It's great though to have Todd fit again and we're keen to see what his wrist-spin can offer in New Zealand conditions, and he'll also bolster the batting," he said.
Astle, 32, made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2012 but since then has played only two more, most recently against England in March last year.
The first of three Tests begins in Hamilton on 28 February.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Will Young.
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All Whites coach Danny Hay said he was "gutted" to have to withdraw from such a high-profile fixture.
Bravo and Hetmyer have been recalled along with fast-bowling all-rounder Keemo Paul, who also skipped the England tour, as part of a 15-man squad backed up by six reserve players.
In a hectic first term, Ardern faced New Zealand's worst terror attack, a deadly volcanic eruption, the country's deepest recession in more than 30 years, and the shared global threat of the COVID-19 pandemic