Bond out and Clarke doubtful

It was expected before the series that Shane Bond would be a crucial part of the New Zealand side, but it has turned out that he will play no part in the series as a hamstring problem he suffered on the eve of the series opener has kept him out of all three games. It isn’t all bad news though, as Lou Vincent is expected to be fully fit after suffering a painful blow to the leg from a Brett Lee delivery during his innings which was a crucial part of New Zealand’s valiant effort on Wednesday night, and Stephen Fleming is expected to return to the side and take over the captaincy role from Daniel Vettori.

But it isn’t only New Zealand with fitness problems in the team as Michael Clarke, who starred on Wednesday with an unbeaten 82 and a matchwinning direct hit to dismiss Brendon McCullum, is in doubt with gastroenteritis. A decision on whether or not he will play will be made later in the week. This follows the return home of pace bowler Brett Lee, who was replaced in the squad by Queensland paceman Mitchell Johnson.

The third and final match is played in Christchurch on Saturday. Australia lead the series 2-0 and have won the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy for 2005.

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