Fleming rested for first two ODIs

Stephen Fleming has been rested for the first two one-day internationals against Sri Lanka after New Zealand Cricket decided to adopt a rotation policy ahead of the forthcoming World Cup in West Indies. Daniel Vettori will lead the team in Fleming's absence.

Also missing from the first two games is Shane Bond, the fast bowler who will undergo a reconditioning program. Bond has had a long history of recurring injuries but is likely to be back in the team for the last three ODIs. John Bracewell, the coach of the New Zealand team, has embraced the rotation policy of giving key players enough rest before crucial matches, something that has worked well for the All Blacks rugby team.

Vettori will be returning to the team after a short break himself, as he was rested from the two Twenty20 matches that New Zealand played against Sri Lanka following the Test series. He has prior experience of leading the team, having done the job on eight occasions when Fleming was either unavailable through injury or rested.

The five-match series begins on December 28 in Napier, with the second match being played in Queenstown on New Year's eve.

Squad for first two ODIs Daniel Vettori (captain), Andre Adams, Nathan Astle, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Hamish Marshall, James Marshall, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Jeetan Patel, Ross Taylor, James Franklin.