December 30, 2000

Sinclair gets one-day call-up at Nevin's expense

Mathew Sinclair has been named in the CLEAR Black Caps side at the expense of Wellington wicket-keeper Chris Nevin.

A controversial omission from the one-day side when it was named last summer, Sinclair did come in to play three games against Australia later in the season.

However, he was not included in the one-day side for the African tour earlier this summer.

Also in the side is Wellington all-rounder James Franklin who was the 12th man for New Zealand in the home Zimbabwe Test, but when released for Wellington he could not make their Shell Cup side.

Ironically, his treatment mirrors that of another Wellington bowler Heath Davis, who was called into the New Zealand team for the 1996/97 Test series against England and then became a key performer in the one-day team, after not being wanted by his provincial selectors.

The team for the three-match Zimbabwean series which starts on Tuesday in Taupo is: Nathan Astle (Canterbury), Mathew Sinclair (Central Districts), Stephen Fleming (Wellington), Roger Twose (Wellington), Chris Cairns (Canterbury), Craig McMillan (Canterbury), Adam Parore (Auckland), Chris Harris (Canterbury), Brooke Walker (Auckland), Scott Styris (Northern Districts), Chris Martin (Canterbury), James Franklin (Wellington).

Selection convener Sir Richard Hadlee said the side would produce attractive and positive cricket.

"The really good news is that Chris Cairns will be playing as an all-rounder. Although he may be bowling off a shortened run, he will use the new ball if required. He's a match-winner with both the bat and the ball and we're very pleased he's back.

"We're also looking for good things from our new opening combination with the recall and promotion of Mathew Sinclair to the top of the order. We're sure he and Nathan Astle will get us off to a cracking start, as Astle in particular is in good form.

"Scott Styris has convinced the medical panel that he's fit even though circumstances have conspired to limit his playing opportunities since he was injured on tour last month. His skills at tightening things up at the end of the innings will be a distinct advantage," he said.

Chris Martin bowled his way into the side with his form in the four Test matches he had played.

"It is tough on Shayne O'Connor who has been a good servant, standing up to the stresses and strains of international cricket better than some others. However, we feel his economy rate is a little high and at present he's lacking that little bit of extra pace in comparison to Martin," he said.

The spinning option was hard to separate but in the end the selectors went for Brooke Walker.

"We believe he will give us a greater wicket-taking option in the middle of the innings as well as add some pace in the field and the chance of a cameo innings if required."

The selectors thought hard about Nevin as an opener and wicket-keeping option.

"With Adam Parore keeping so well and coming off a Test half century with the bat, in the final count, we couldn't look part him, especially as Nevin had a disappointing series in South Africa.

"James Franklin has been included as part of our policy of bringing youth forward. He has a targeted player with multi-skills who has shown huge potential for both Test and one-day cricket. We are looking forward to the 2003 World Cup and believe that he will have a significant part of play in our side by then," he said.

The selectors were disappointed they were unable to consider Tama Canning however he couldn't be considered due to ICC residential requirements.

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