Vettori captains despite Fleming return
Stephen Fleming will return to New Zealand's side for Saturday's third and final Chappell-Hadlee Series match but Daniel Vettori has been retained as captain to give him more experience. Fleming has recovered from surgery to remove a benign tumour in his jaw and will open the batting, but Vettori, who led the side to two losses, retains the top job.
"I feel pretty good, a little bit stiff through the area that was cut [near his ear], just through scar tissue," he told AAP of the operation. "It's been hard missing those two games, but I've been geared up for coming back to this game and I'm pleased to be available."
Fleming proved his fitness with 62 for Wellington in a four-day match against Canterbury this week but Shane Bond, who missed the first two matches with a hamstring injury, has been ruled out again.
A final decision on Lou Vincent, who added a sparkling 71 to lead the New Zealand run-chase in the second match, will be made on Saturday after he was struck on the right leg by a Brett Lee delivery. The blow forced Vincent to use a runner during the second match, which New Zealand lost in the final over by two runs, and he will be replaced by James Marshall if he fails the fitness test. Chris Martin has also come into the side instead of James Franklin.
The Victorian pair of Cameron White and Mick Lewis has been named in the Australian starting side and Mitchell Johnson was chosen as the supersub. Michael Clarke, who was struggling with a stomach problem, was picked but Brad Hogg, the left-arm spinner, was dropped after taking an impressive 2 for 34 in the series-winning match at Wellington on Wednesday.
Johnson, the Queensland left-arm fast bowler, was called into the squad yesterday as a replacement for Brett Lee, who was battling a nasal problem. His first overs as an Australia international will depend on Ricky Ponting's use of the supersub. Lewis was employed heavily and successfully in the second game but White has had limited opportunities when he has filled the role.
Australia 1 Adam Gilchrist (wk), 2 Simon Katich, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Brad Hodge, 6 Andrew Symonds, 7 Michael Hussey, 8 Cameron White, 9 Stuart Clark, 10 Nathan Bracken, 11 Mick Lewis, supersub Mitchell Johnson.
New Zealand 1 Nathan Astle, 2 Stephen Fleming, 3 Hamish Marshall, 4 Scott Styris, 5 Lou Vincent, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Craig McMillan, 8 Chris Cairns, 9 Brendon McCullum (wk), 10 Daniel Vettori (capt), 11 Chris Martin, 12 Kyle Mills. Supersub to be named.