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Wounded New Zealand get Taylor, Boult boost

20 March, 2017, 23:11 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • South Africa beat New Zealand by 8 wickets in Wellington to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series

It should be noted that this was only New Zealand's fourth Test defeat at home in 22 matches - dating back to South Africa's previous visit here in 2012 when they won a match in similar fashion in Hamilton courtesy of a New Zealand batting implosion - although two of those losses came past year in the previous marquee series, against Australia.

So far against South Africa, the T20 - albeit a one-off - was a walkover for the visitors, the one-day series was an oscillating affair, but two bad batting displays in Wellington and Auckland cost New Zealand, and now they are 1-0 down in the Tests after collapsing for 171.

Allrounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme have both failed to deliver this series, particularly with the bat. "We need more runs and the bowling needs to be tidied up in a general sense".

"Whatever you're doing, whether it's bat or ball, you just have to be nice and consistent against South Africa", he said. "We fought really hard for a day-and-a-half at the Basin, but then dropped our guard".

With no batting reserves Neil Broom will have an opportunity to make up for his disappointing Test debut where he managed 0 and 20 in his two efforts.

Dropped in Wellington, Mitchell Santner will be a strong chance to return and partner Jeetan Patel, where his batting will be a plus at No 8.

However, strike bowler Trent Boult, who was ruled out of the second Test with a sore leg, is looking likely to make a comeback in Hamilton.

McMillan confirmed Hesson's earlier comment that the third test will be played on the Waikari clay side of the Seddon Park block, which turned appreciably for the fourth ODI and was predicted as a "dustbowl" by South Africa's skipper Faf du Plessis. "We think he's a classy player. So that's why we are showing faith in Tommy".

"He's in a rut, no doubt about that but his numbers speak for themselves".

Taylor has picked up a low-grade muscle tear and will not be available for a Test the Black Caps need to win to level the three-match series, so the home side will stick with the same squad. "I haven't spoken to him [Taylor] for a couple of days but knowing Ross I'm sure he is [keen] to play in his hometown, and he's done well there in recent times".

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