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Battered NZ hope for Taylor, Boult return

March 20, 2017


WELLINGTON: A thoroughly outplayed New Zealand received a glimmer of hope on Sunday that Ross Taylor and Trent Boult could be fit for the third Test after announcing the pair will rejoin the squad.

But batting coach Craig McMillan cautioned there was still no guarantee that either batsman Taylor or strike bowler Boult would play against South Africa when the third and final Test starts in Hamilton on Saturday.

As South Africa wrapped up the second Test inside three days in Wellington on Saturday to lead the series 1-0, it was evident to New Zealand how little depth they had when two of their few stars were absent.

Taylor tore a calf and Boult suffered upper leg soreness during the drawn first Test in Dunedin.

The prospect of Boult returning looked promising after he comfortably went through a short practice session but Taylor’s fitness was unclear.

“You can’t take players into a Test against South Africa who aren’t fully fit,” McMillan said.

“I haven’t spoken to [Taylor] for a couple of days but I’m sure he’s keen. He loves playing there and he’s done well in recent times.”

Taylor has scored four of his 16 centuries in Hamilton including an unbeaten 102 in his last outing there against Pakistan in November. and it went bad quickly.”

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017