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24 Feb 2018 19:01
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Cricket

    Unchanged Black Caps squad for third Test

    Ross Taylor will miss New Zealand's bid to square the three-Test series against South Africa because of his ongoing calf injury.


    An unchanged New Zealand squad will bid to square the Test series against South Africa in Hamilton after Ross Taylor was deemed unfit for selection.

    Taylor is still to recover from a low-grade calf tear sustained in the drawn first Test in Dunedin which ruled him out of the eight-wicket loss in Wellington, meaning Neil Broom is retained despite a modest debut.

    It is a cruel blow, with in-form Taylor having historically thrived at Hamilton's Seddon Park.

    Coach Mike Hesson and co-selector Gavin Larsen have decided against introducing new faces for the decider starting on Saturday.

    They will hope pace spearhead Trent Boult recovers in time from a groin injury which sidelined him at the Basin Reserve.

    Larsen said Boult had "come through well" following a net session on Sunday.

    There was speculation legspinner Ish Sodhi would be included on a surface which is expected to take turn.

    However, Hesson may still choose two spinners, with left-armer Mitchell Santner a chance to join offspinner Jeetan Patel in the starting XI.

    That inclusion could come at the expense of any number of players.

    Allrounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme have both failed to deliver this series, particularly with the bat.

    Pace bowlers Neil Wagner and Tim Southee also come under pressure if both Boult and Santner are recalled.

    There are problems further up the order, with opening Tom Latham having failed to pass 10 in his last eight international innings.

    His selection now appears assured, with Larsen saying he and others simply need to be given another chance to prove themselves.

    "We've got what we think are the best group of Test cricketers in the country and we've got a Test match to win."

    Larsen said after a tight first Test, New Zealand let themselves down in the three-day Wellington humbling, particularly with the bat when they scored 268 and 171.

    "I was pretty gutted with the way we capitulated on that last day," he said.

    "I just wanted to see a greater fight, which is the hallmark of the good Black Caps teams.

    "So there's a lot of work that has to take place between now and that first ball."

    NZ squad: Kane Williamson (capt), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Neil Broom, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Jeetan Patel, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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