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NZ boss defends Taylor T20 omission

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/02/2017

Black Caps coach Mike Hesson has defended omitting Ross Taylor from his Twenty-20 side to face South Africa, saying others were more deserving of a middle-order position.

The Black Caps will take on the Proteas on Friday in a one-off T20 match, before playing a five-game ODI series and three Tests.

But they will be without Taylor for the Eden Park hit-out after the trio of Colin Munro, Corey Anderson and Tom Bruce were preferred from No.3 to No.5.

All three played in the side's three-match T20 series against Bangladesh in early January and impressed in parts, with Munro notching a century, Anderson hitting 94 (not out) and Bruce a half-century.

As a result, Hesson said there was simply no space for Taylor, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision on Kiwi radio on Tuesday.

Taylor alleged Hesson had failed to justify the choice to him, but the Kiwi coach rebutted those comments and said the pair were in frequent contact.

"First and foremost, like any side, there needs to be a position available," Hesson told reporters.

"We know Ross is a quality player and keen to play T20 cricket but, at the moment, we've got a side that's performing pretty well."

Taylor, 32, levelled Nathan Astle's Kiwi ODI century-notching record last week with a clinical 107 in the side's Chappell-Hadlee decider against Australia.

Hesson acknowledged the Wellingtonian star was caught in a bind, given his inability to redemonstrate his T20 chops.

But he insisted he'd picked the best team available to him to take on South Africa, who recently lost a T20 series to Sri Lanka 2-1.

A Proteas T20 preparation match against New Zealand A was also called off on Tuesday due to rain.

"It's a very tough side to get into but we don't play a lot of T20 cricket either so opportunities are going to be few and far between," Hesson said.

The Black Caps squad met on Tuesday before heading out onto the training paddock for the first time on Wednesday.

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