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Hasib
October 14, 2003, 08:06 AM
Astle blow for Kiwis


New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle will miss the one-day series against India and Australia after aggravating an old knee injury.
Astle, who underwent surgery on his left knee earlier this year, will fly home following the second Test against India, which starts on Thursday.

"The aim is to ensure he is fit for home series against Pakistan and South Africa," said manager Lindsay Crocker.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Chris Nevin will replace Astle in the one-day squad.

All-rounder Chris Cairns, wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum, and medium pace bowlers Paul Hitchcock and Kyle Mills will also be arriving for the one-day series.

Despite the injury, Crocker said medical staff believed Astle would not cause further damage by playing in Mohali.

He made scores of 103 and 51 not out as the Kiwis salvaged a draw in the opening Test.

"The on-tour medical panel feel it is unlikely he will aggravate the injury further by playing in the second Test.

"However, there would be a greater risk of aggravation of the injury during the one-day tournament because of the more strenuous fielding demands of one-day cricket," said Crocker.

The one-day series starts on 23 October, with New Zealand facing India in the opening game at Madras.