Ross Taylor may miss second test against India

AARON LAWTON
Last updated 05:00 29/12/2013
Ross Taylor
Photosport
DOUBLE CENTURY: Ross Taylor takes the applause of the crowd after a star showing.

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New Zealand's best batsman, Ross Taylor, could miss the second test against India in mid-February due to the impending arrival of his second child. Taylor is in the form of his life after scoring three centuries, including a double, in as many tests against the West Indies and 495 runs for the series at an average of 247.5.

But with wife Victoria expected to give birth to the couple's second child in February, there's a strong chance Taylor will be available for only the first test of the two-match series.

"Our second baby is due right in the middle of the second test," Taylor said. "At this stage, it's looking like I'll probably just play the first test."

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson, a father of two himself, said anything could happen in terms of the timing of the impending arrival, but they were prepared in case Taylor had to miss some cricket.

"Obviously family comes first and we totally support Ross in whatever is happening at that time. We'll just have to deal with it, like an injury or any other unavailability," Hesson said.

Taylor's purple patch with the bat against the West Indies has capped off an incredible year for the 29-year-old.

In early December last year, he was ousted as the national captain in favour of Brendon McCullum and subsequently took a break from the game. He returned in the home series against England last February and has scored an astounding 864 runs at an average of 72 from 10 tests since, just seven short of John Reid's New Zealand record of 871 set back in 1965.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sunday Star-Times today, Taylor opens up about the lowest point of his career and explains how he's taken his game to the next level. "It's seems ironic that a year ago I was in Waihi Beach, taking a break and trying not to think too much about cricket," Taylor said. "At the time, I wasn't even hitting balls. And here I am, a year on, scoring three hundreds in test cricket for New Zealand."

The 29-year-old is keen to move on from the captaincy saga but hasn't completely ruled out, should McCullum retire before him, putting his hand up for the job again.

"I had a feeling I was going to be asked this question at some point," he said. "But it's not something I've thought too much about, to be honest. I'm just content with what I'm doing at the moment."

Taylor also said he wants to play international cricket until at least the end of the 2019 World Cup.

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"With a lot of my goals, I probably need to play for New Zealand for a few years yet and when you get to 30, which I'm close to, you need to train even harder as your body starts to pack up or slow down," he said.

"I have got a few years left in me and probably until the 2019 World Cup, if I'm still fit and still enjoying myself, that's probably what I'd put as a goal."

- Sunday Star Times

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