Cricket
Ross Taylor blow for New Zealand ahead of second Test
CRICKET

Ross Taylor blow for New Zealand ahead of second Test

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has been ruled out of the second Test against India in Wellington starting Friday as the Kiwis go in for the kill against the tourists.

Batsman Tom Latham and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham will make their debuts at the Basin Reserve as the hosts look to seal a 2-0 series win.

Taylor's role in the Test was always uncertain and his withdrawal has been confirmed as he awaits the arrival of his second child.

Jesse Ryder was on stand-by for Taylor but more off-field issues meant he was left out of the squad along with the injured Doug Bracewell.

Latham will bat at number four in Taylor's place, while pace bowler Neesham replaces leg-spinner Ish Sodhi on what is expected to be a green wicket.

Taylor's absence is a blow for New Zealand given his recent form, including two tons to finish the one-day international series against India.

Latham has been in solid form at first-class level while Neesham took four wickets and made 147 for Otago last time out.

Trent Boult (match figures of 10-80), Tim Southee (5-82), Corey Anderson (3-49) and Neil Wagner (2-104) did all the damage in New Zealand's win over the West Indies in Wellington in December last year.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he would bowl first if he was to win the toss.

"It looks a little bit greener than what we had against West Indies and looks a bit harder as well," McCullum said.

"We expect a bit of pace and bounce and maybe a bit of sideways movement as well.

"What worked for us best against the West Indies was the ability for us to swing the ball in the air.

"Hopefully with some still days the ball seems to swing here, and that's what's forecast over the next few days."

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