New Zealand do not need match-winner Astle
Nathan Astle's unbeaten 90 in the third ODI may have won New Zealand the series, but the knock was not enough to help him retain his place.india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 11:57 IST
The New Zealand cricket selectors Wednesday dumped batsman Nathan Astle for the final two one-day internationals against Sri Lanka despite his sudden return to form with a match and series winning 90 not out in Christchurch this week.
Astle was originally unwanted for the series after a string of poor performances, but was was recalled when captain Stephen Fleming took paternity leave.
He then made the most of the opportunity with a solid performance against Sri Lanka on Tuesday that took New Zealand to an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five match series.
But coach John Bracewell said that while he was pleased with how Astle played, one top order batsman had to make way for Fleming and they wanted to provide further opportunities to squad newcomers Jamie How and Peter Fulton.
"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," he said.
Hamish Marshall, who has also been struggling for runs, has been retained in the squad. He was unlucky to be out for 12, the victim of a dubious LBW decision, in Tuesday's match.
Another change in the squad involves the introduction of Wellington spinner Jeetan Patel in place of speedster James Franklin.
Bracewell said Patel had been selected as part of a plan to develop further spin bowling options for the World Cup.
However, Franklin could return if Kyle Mills, who has a groin strain, fails a fitness test before the next match in Wellington on Friday.
New Zealand squad: 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.