Injury-hit New Zealand are looking for a new captain for tomorrow's second Twenty20 cricket international against the West Indies after today's calamitous defeat in Lauderhill, Florida.
Ross Taylor was ruled out of game two after suffering an AC joint injury in his left shoulder during the Black Caps' 56-run loss to the West Indies who plundered 209-2.
He is also unlikely to feature in the early stages of the five-match one-day series which starts on Friday in Kingston, Jamaica.
Taylor joined Ronnie Hira on the sidelines after the left-arm spinner suffered a tour-ending dislocated finger on his left hand, while all-rounder Jacob Oram remains in doubt for game two due to a knee injury.
It raised the question of who would captain the side tomorrow, in the absence of Brendon McCullum (rested) and Daniel Vettori, who will play the test series only.
No decision on the stand-in captain was announced, but Oram rated Kane Williamson as the favourite, with former vice-captain Kyle Mills another contender.
"Being such a young, inexperienced team, possibly the selectors will look at the future. I know Kane has captained teams in the past and his county team [Gloucestershire] last year so he may be at the front of the line," Oram said.
Taylor suffered his injury after landing heavily on his shoulder after dropping Kieron Pollard on 39. He then retired hurt on 10 after feeling pain while batting.
Team physiotherapist, Paul Close said a grade two injury to his left AC joint was confirmed by an X-ray and MRI scan.
"At this stage the injury looks like it will exclude him from selection for tomorrow's match and for the first part of the ODI series."
Taylor earlier said Hira had suffered a compound fracture to the middle finger of his left hand, but X-rays revealed no break.
Having bowled just 2.2 overs, the T20 specialist was struck a nasty blow when man of the match Chris Gayle smashed one back in his direction.
Said Close: "He [Hira] went to hospital were scans showed there wasn't a fracture but the skin has split and he is required to wear a splint. He won't take any further part in the series and will return to New Zealand to undergo further assessment and a period of rehabilitation."
Oram's right knee dug into the turf when he was trying to stop the ball crossing the boundary at Central Broward Regional Stadium. He continued bowling in pain then scored 27 off 12 balls with the bat.
Oram felt he was an outside chance to play tomorrow after some ice and physio treatment. He said today's defeat could be put down to a lack of build-up against the match-hardened side, but said that was no excuse for conceding 20 extras with the ball and sloppy fielding.
"The little things that we normally pride ourselves on - extras when we're bowling, and our fielding, and running between the wickets - was pretty average."
Needing to score at more than 10 an over, New Zealand never threatened the target and were dismissed for 153 with nine balls to spare, with Hira not batting and Taylor retired hurt.
Rob Nicol (32 off 31) top-scored, while spinner Sunil Narine, who removed danger man Martin Guptill, stumped for 11, was the standout bowler, taking 3-34.
Fears New Zealand would be badly under-prepared after no warm-up games and just three days of training in the United States were quickly realised.
Gayle (85 not-out off 52 balls) and Pollard (63 not-out off 29) punished an errant New Zealand attack.
Two of world cricket's most feared hitters, blasted 108 off 43 balls in an unbroken third wicket stand after New Zealand sent the West Indies in to bat.
It was a record West Indies total, beating their 208-8 against England in 2007 and was the 13th highest international T20 score of all time.
No New Zealand bowlers emerged with credit on the sluggish surface, and the fielding was sloppy at times.
The West Indies were 67-1 off 10 overs, then blasted 142 off the final 10. After a sedate start, Gayle boomed seven fours and five sixes including three straight over the rope from Doug Bracewell's bowling.
Pollard cracked five fours and five sixes, after hitting his first delivery from Williamson over the boundary.
New Zealand omitted Mills, BJ Watling, Daniel Flynn and Andrew Ellis from their side. Tom Latham made his T20 international debut but had a forgettable start with the gloves, missing a stumping off Nathan McCullum's bowling.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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