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December 27, 2006
Iain O'Brien, the Wellington medium-pace bowler, has been called up as cover for Michael Mason and Mark Gillespie during the first ODI against Sri Lanka on December 28 at Napier's McLean Park. Gillespie, on international debut, suffered a knee injury during New Zealand's Twenty20 win on Tuesday, while Mason is reportedly not fully fit.
O'Brien, 30, served as 12th man for both the Tests. He has previously played two Tests, against Australia, in March 2005.
John Bracewell, New Zealand'S coach, hinted that Daniel Vettori, who will captain in the first two ODIs place of a rested Stephen Fleming, will bat at either No. 5 or 6. "There may be a surprise in that we use Daniel Vettori in the middle because of his 'gapping' ability, in particular against spin," he told The New Zealand Herald. "So there may be a shift there."
Nathan Astle, whose unbeaten 40 helped New Zealand to a five-wicket victory on Boxing Day, underwent an x-ray on his hand, with Craig McMillan on standby. "We're delighted with the progress he's [McMillan] made," Bracewell said. "We're in constant touch with him and his domestic coach."
Brendon McCullum will open the innings with Astle and keep wickets, though it's assumed that a second 'keeper, probably Gareth Hopkins, will be named in the squad later in the series.
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