New Zealand vs England: Dunedin hero Ross Taylor hopes to play ODI series decider despite injury concerns

Injured Black Cap Ross Taylor said Thursday he was desperate to play in the one-day series decider against England, as pundits declared his unbeaten 181 the greatest ever limited-overs innings by a Kiwi batsman.

AFP, March 08, 2018

Wellington: Injured Black Cap Ross Taylor said Thursday he was desperate to play in the one-day series decider against England, as pundits declared his unbeaten 181 the greatest ever limited-overs innings by a Kiwi batsman.

Taylor overcame cramps and a severe thigh strain to bludgeon New Zealand to victory with a career-best performance in the fourth ODI in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Grimacing with pain after every shot and limping between the wickets, he levelled the series 2-2 to set up a winner-takes-all clash in Christchurch on Saturday.

Ross Taylor earlier struck an unbeaten 181 in the fourth one-dayer to help New Zealand level the series. Reuters

Ross Taylor earlier struck an unbeaten 181 in the fourth one-dayer to help New Zealand level the series. Reuters

Coach Mike Hesson was reluctant to risk Taylor in the crunch match if there was risk of long-term injury, and has called in rookie Mark Chapman as cover.

"We need to know the extent of it and whether it's one of those injuries that can get worse, or whether you can grin and bear it, we're just not sure yet," Hesson told reporters.

Taylor said he was keen to play and would be icing his injured thigh and resting with the intention of taking the field even if not fully fit.

"I'm hoping to," he told Radio Sport.

"Obviously I won't be 100 (percent) but we'll just see how it pulls up in the next couple of days and give it the best chance possible."

Taylor hurt his thigh earlier in the series then aggravated it diving to avoid a run out as New Zealand chased England's challenging target of 336.

The 34-year-old's 181 not out was his 19th ODI century and the third highest score by a New Zealander in the 50-over format.

But Dominion Post cricket writer Mark Geenty said the context and manner of Taylor's knock made it a standout contender for New Zealand's greatest ODI innings.

Aside from Taylor's injury, he pointed out that New Zealand were chasing a huge total against quality opposition to keep the series alive, and had lost their two openers for ducks.

"Taylor wins. No decision review system required," he wrote.

Radio New Zealand's Jamie Wall hailed "Ross the Boss" as one of the Black Caps' all-time greats.

"It was the most definitive statement by Taylor that he is very much in contention for the title of New Zealand's greatest batsman ever," he wrote.

Updated Date: Mar 08, 2018





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5751 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3548 101
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114