Ross Taylor will play for New Zealand XI against Netherland in Napier next week.© AFP
Retiring Blackcaps great Ross Taylor will feature for the New Zealand XI against the Netherlands in Napier next week as he looks to get some game-time ahead of his final One Day International series later this month. Having been ruled out of today’s Plunket Shield match for the Central Stags as a Covid-19 ‘household contact’, Taylor will turn out against the touring Dutch at McLean Park in the second one-day warm-up match on March 19 as well as the one-off T20 on the evening of the 21st. Taylor said he was excited to join the NZ XI and grateful to get some game time ahead of his final series for the Kiwis.
“I’m looking forward to getting down to Napier and playing on one of my favourite grounds in McLean Park,” said Ross Taylor.
“It’s a great opportunity to get some time in the middle after missing the latest round of the Plunket Shield and it will also be useful to have a look at the touring team ahead of the ODI series. I’m looking forward to sharing the dressing room with some new and younger faces who I hope I can help by passing on some knowledge. The Netherlands are an ever-improving side and they’ll be relishing the chance to take on a Test-playing nation. They have a few familiar players from the New Zealand domestic scene who I’m sure will be valuable to them in terms of understanding the conditions. We know they’ll play with plenty of pride and expect them to be a good challenge, ” added Taylor
Taylor’s inclusion headlines a strong mix of Blackcaps hopefuls and rising stars in the New Zealand XI squad which will be captained by in-form Wellington Firebirds skipper Michael Bracewell.
Bracewell, Dane Cleaver and Ben Sears are very much contenders for the Kiwis white-ball squads to face the Netherlands later this month, in light of the unavailability of 12 Blackcaps regulars who will leave for the IPL in the coming weeks.
Of the three, Wellington Firebirds paceman Sears has already made his T20 International debut in Bangladesh in September – the same tour his Firebirds teammate Bracewell had to turn down as his maiden Blackcaps call-up as he awaited the birth of his first child.
Central Stags wicket-keeper Cleaver is yet to be included in a Kiwis squad but has been on the national radar for the past few seasons.
The rest of the NZ XI side is a look into the future with Jesse Tashkoff, Jock McKenzie and Matt Boyle recent graduates of the NZ U19 programme.
Paul Wiseman will lead the coaching staff and will be supported by Auckland pace bowling coach Azhar Abbas and former New Zealand wicket-keeper turned Northern Districts network coach BJ Watling.