Sri Lanka in New Zealand 2005-06 January 4, 2006

Astle makes way for Fleming

Cricinfo staff

A superb innings at Christchurch was not enough for Nathan Astle to retain his spot © Getty Images

Nathan Astle has been dropped from the squad for the final two ODIs against Sri Lanka in spite of his matchwinning innings at Christchurch, to make way for Stephen Fleming, who returns to captain the team after recovering from a broken finger.

Kyle Mills, who underwent a test for a groin strain, and Jacob Oram, who had hurt his heel during the second match at Christchurch, were ruled out of the remainder of the series against Sri Lanka. They were replaced by Chris Martin and James Franklin.

"Stephen Fleming will come back into the side as captain for the remainder of the series," John Bracewell, the New Zealand coach, was quoted as saying by a New Zealand Cricket media release. "Daniel Vettori has performed extremely well in the captain's role and with his increased experience he now provides us with a much needed second leadership option."

Bracewell added that since continuing with Jamie How and Peter Fulton was the right path for New Zealand, Astle had to make way for Fleming. "We were pleased with how Nathan Astle played yesterday. However, one top-order player has to make way for Stephen and we believe continuing to play Jamie How and Peter Fulton is the right option for us at this time. Nathan will return to domestic cricket to continue to build on yesterday's performance. Jeetan Patel has been selected as we look to develop further spin-bowling options for the World Cup."

Stephen Fleming (capt), Daniel Vettori (vice capt), Shane Bond, Chris Cairns, Peter Fulton, Jamie How, Hamish Marshall, Brendon McCullum (wk), Chris Martin, James Franklin, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris, Lou Vincent.