Astle dumped, Fleming/Patel back

Stephen Fleming and Jeetan Patel have returned to the New Zealand squad for the final two one-dayers against Sri Lanka, while Nathan Astle has been dumped in spite of his match winnings innings of 90 yesterday.

With Fleming’s return, he will take over the captaincy from Daniel Vettori.

Kyle Mills is in doubt for the remainder of the series following a groin strain, which will be assessed later today. If Mills is proved unavailable, James Franklin will return to the squad as his replacement.

New Zealand Coach John Bracewell had the following to say on the dropping of Nathan Astle and the inclusion of Wellington Firebirds spin bowler Jeetan Patel.

“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.”

On the Sri Lankan front, Sanath Jayasuriya has been ruled out of the rest of the series after dislocating his shoulder. The Sri Lankan team manager Michael Tissera said “Sanath was reaching for his shampoo when he slipped and fell in his bath”.

New Zealand Squad for the final two one-dayers
Stephen Fleming (captain), Daniel Vettori (vice captain), Shane Bond, Chris Cairns, Peter Fulton, Jamie How, Hamish Marshall, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Scott Styris, Lou Vincent

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