Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Ross Taylor to miss third Test as NZ name unchanged squad

Ross Taylor to miss third Test as NZ name unchanged squad

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.

When South Africa stuttered to 94 for six in response to New Zealand's 268 all out in their first innings, those fans fearless enough to have braced the time zone divide could have been forgiven if they had turned their televisions off and gone back to bed.

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.

Should Boult and Taylor be passed fit, then an extra spinner for Colin de Grandhomme may be the only other change. Obviously the one-day games it did.

"The way we capitulated on that last day ... there's a lot of work that needs to take place between now and that first ball (in Hamilton)". That leaves the spin duties in the hands of Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner.

If Boult does return it may leave Tim Southee's place in the XI in doubt with Neil Wagner proving to be tricky for the Proteas to handle in the series thus far. He's scored six test hundreds and he's averaging a shade under 40. De Grandhomme's batting was found wanting again, too. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussions.

There are problems further up the order, with opening Tom Latham having failed to pass 10 in his last eight worldwide innings. There are a lot of domestic players going really well around the country but I firmly believe within our group we have the best players to do well.

Morne Morkel made the most use of the pitch to take five wickets in the match‚ while Vernon Philander bowled immaculately for no reward.

"It's about getting him back to basics, about getting him back to making good decisions".

"I think he's the best No. 3 in the world".

New Zealand couldn't capitalise on having South Africa 94-6 on Friday, and seizing their rare chances against quality opponents remained their achilles heel. Yesterday was a bad day. "The group is hurting and disappointed but it's something we have to acknowledge", McMillan said.

Good thing that Hamilton isn't short on Irish pubs - by the look of things‚ SA could need somewhere to celebrate a series win next week.

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