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Black Caps stick with tried and true

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/03/2017 Cathy Walshe
Ross Taylor of New Zealand bats during day three of the First Test match between New Zealand and South Africa at University Oval on March 10, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand. © Dianne Manson/Getty Images Ross Taylor of New Zealand bats during day three of the First Test match between New Zealand and South Africa at University Oval on March 10, 2017 in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Don't expect any bolters on Monday when the Black Caps selectors name their team to take on South Africa in the third and final Test in Hamilton, batting coach Craig McMillan has warned.

Not even Saturday's hefty eight-wicket second Test loss at the Basin Reserve appears likely to tempt selectors Mike Hesson and Gavin Larsen into ringing the changes.

The Proteas breezed past the Black Caps inside three days, chasing down a tiny 81-run target late on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after last week's drawn first Test in Dunedin.

Apart from Henry Nicholls' first innings 118, and Jeet Raval's gritty second innings 80, McMillan admits there were few positives for the New Zealanders.

"Yesterday was a terrible day. To lose within three days is unacceptable - the group's hurting, the group's disappointed."

But despite the margin of the loss, McMillan says there's little likelihood of a change in personnel for the final Test of a busy summer.

"We've got the best players in New Zealand in this squad - certainly in Dunedin they showed they're good enough to play well and compete with South Africa," he said.

Injured players Ross Taylor and Trent Boult will return to the squad, but McMillan warns the pair will have to prove their fitness.

Taylor's return from a calf strain would be timely, particularly given the thin batting display the Black Caps returned in Wellington.

They delivered innings of 268 and 171, losing a worrying 12 wickets to spin on a wicket that wasn't providing that much turn for JP Duminy and Keshav Baharaj.

But McMillan says Taylor won't be rushed back.

"We're not going to play him if he's not fit," he said.

"We can't afford to take players into a Test match against South Africa if they're not fully fit - it's just too big an ask."

Regardless of whether Taylor plays or not, McMillan is expecting an improved effort from the Black Caps batsmen.

And despite needing a win to level the series, the Black Caps won't be changing their approach.

"Whatever you're doing, whether it's bat or ball, you just have to be nice and consistent against South Africa," he said.

"And when those pressure points in the game come up, you have to have individuals stand up and grab them."

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