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Australia face acid test in ODIs: Taylor

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/01/2017

Ross Taylor is as interested as anyone in how Australia adjust to life without their two batting maestros in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.

The veteran New Zealand batsman was probed by journalists about what impact the absence of captain Steve Smith (ankle injury) and David Warner (rested) would have on Australia's hopes in the three-match ODI series starting on Monday.

The captaincy is claimed by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade while Taylor expects Peter Handscomb to play a more prominent role with the bat after a promising start to his international career.

Former skipper Taylor says it is obvious the missing pair will leave a hole for the visitors, who were key cogs in Australia's 3-0 pre-Christmas series rout.

"They had a big part to play. Warner's been in stellar form and Smith, in all formats of the game, has been very consistent and inspirational leader," he said.

"They'll be looking to Wade to step up but at the same time I'm sure the New Zealand public would have (loved to) had Smith and Warner here. They love reminding them of a few things."

The first-choice Australian pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are crossing the Tasman.

Taylor says that will provide the Black Caps batsmen with a totally different set of challenges to what they've enountered over the last five weeks against Bangladesh, when all three series were swept.

A key for both teams will be adjusting to the fluctuating conditions anticipated at Eden Park on Monday, McLean Park on Thursday and Seddon Park on Sunday.

"You'll have to analyse it quickly as possible, whether you're batting or bowling," he said.

"This one (Eden Park) will have a little bit in it, with the small boundaries.

"The pace and bounce of Napier and then there's the slower nature, which could actually turn, in Hamilton."

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