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New Zealand announces unchanged squad for final SA Test

Ross Taylor to miss the final Test.

By Rashmi Nanda -

New Zealand’s top-order batsman Ross Taylor has not managed to recover from the calf injury due to which he will miss out on the last Test of the three-match Test series, where South Africa have a lead 1-0-1 in the Test series with a win at Basin Reserve.

The New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen felt that they didn’t need to make any changes in the squad as they have the greatest bunch of the Test players in the country at the moment. He stated, “We’ve got 100% faith in the fact that we’ve got what we think are the best group of Test cricketers in the country.”

Larsen further added, “It’s about getting into Hamilton, getting the covers off, having a look at the pitch, having a look at some balance, thinking about what transpired down here in Wellington and about the best way to beat a very good South African team. I am very confident the coach and captain will come up with the right XI on the day.”

Despite having the most hurt to New Zealand, the national selectors are persistent with their opener Tom Latham, who has scored 10, 8 and 6 in the first two Tests.

Larsen said about Latham, “He is a classy player, a great individual and part of our leadership team. He is in a rut and he is battling a bit with his form but we believe he has got the character and the work ethic to work him out of this rut. If there were a number of candidates around the country who were absolutely shooting the lights out and putting in front of the selectors really compelling reasons that we needed to consider them and pick them, we would have had that conversation. But as you know, there aren’t a lot of openers out there shooting the lights out.”

The 33-year-old right-handed batsman Neil Broom was expected to fill in place of Ross Taylor in their No.4 lineup but he bagged a duck in his maiden knock and scored 20 in the follow-up. Larsen added, “In the first innings, he was really unlucky. He got a real peach of a delivery, a jaffa, and that can happen.”

He further added, “In the second innings, I thought he got his innings underway really well. It was testing against the ball that was moving around. Vernon Philander bowled extremely well to him and he navigated that successfully so it was disappointing when he nicked off for 20. Again, it was to a good one so we have faith that Neil will do the job at No. 4.”

Larson said that Broom would remain the part of Playing XI until the Taylor is come back to take his place. He added, “His (Taylor’s) experience and his class is just so evident and he would have been straight back into the unit.”

New Zealand squad for the 3rd Test:

Kane Williamson (C), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner