New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor fit to play in first Test against England
He will be back to face England following a thigh injury and bout of sickness.
Ross Taylor has recovered from his thigh injury, and a bout of sickness, in time for New Zealand’s inaugural day-night Test against England.
Kane Williamson confirmed the key batsman will be back at Eden Park on Thursday, having missed the deciding match of the one-day international series – which went England’s way in Christchurch.
In the intervening 11 days, Taylor was laid low by a bug while he was resting the injury which had also kept him out of the third ODI in Wellington.
Williamson said: “The last 10 days have been a balance between rest and recovery for Ross, and now he’s looking forward to preparing for the Test match.
Kane Williamson has confirmed Todd Astle will come into the playing XI for Thursday. Our XI - Latham, Raval, Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls, Watling, de Grandhomme, Astle, Southee, Wagner, Boult. #NZvENG pic.twitter.com/N95xkXrai6— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 21, 2018
“It’s been valuable time for him, to get his leg right, get sick, get over getting sick, and be right come the game tomorrow.”
Taylor’s presence is a huge lift to the Kiwis, on the back of his outstanding form over the past year.
“Rosco’s been playing beautifully well every time he’s walked out to the crease,” added Williamson.
“(It’s) just the calmness at the crease, the confidence, and it’s reflected in how much success he’s had this year … and probably every other year as well.
“He’s batting amazingly well and is a great guy to have in a group.”
He’s batting amazingly well and is a great guy to have in a group Kane Williamson on Ross Taylor
Williamson will be wary, meanwhile, of “over-complicating” New Zealand’s tactics in just their second pink-ball Test – and first on home soil.
In the small number of first-class day-night matches held to date – including in Tests – the rationale has been that seam bowlers have a significant advantage during hours of twilight and darkness.
But Williamson said: “The sample size of pink-ball cricket is fairly small.
“There probably is a danger of over-complicating some of the finer parts to the pink-ball game.
“There has only been a handful of games, and they have shown different characteristics within those matches … (so) it is hard to look into too much.”
Instead, he will advocate New Zealand do not obsess about the twilight session but stay alive to all possibilities.
He added: “You do want to adapt, think on your feet quickly, because it can be important to utilise some of those occasions if you get the chance to do so – perhaps with a new pink ball at night.
“We need to be prepared to play the long game, not rely on what we think may or may not happen, and stick to our plans and our strengths.”
Williamson also confirmed leg-spinner Todd Astle will play against England, rather than extra seamer Matt Henry.