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Taylor back in Black Caps Test squad

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/01/2017

His sight restored and with runs on the board, the New Zealand selectors had no problem recalling Ross Taylor for the Test series against Bangladesh.

The former captain underwent eye surgery following the 2-0 series win over Pakistan in November, casting doubt over his short-term international availability.

However, after being omitted from the one-day international and Twenty20 series, Taylor is back for the two-Test stoush which starts in Wellington on Thursday next week. The second Test is in Christchurch.

New Zealand have made only one change from the 13-man squad which enjoyed a rare triumph over Pakistan, replacing legspinner Todd Astle with batsman Dean Brownlie.

Mitchell Santner, who replaced Jimmy Neesham for the second Test against Pakistan, is the lone spinner against Bangladesh, who have struggled so far in the shorter formats in New Zealand.

Selector Gavin Larsen was impressed with Taylor's form since having a growth removed from his eye a month ago.

He scored 82 not and 80 in T20 knocks for Central Districts to follow on from his unbeaten 102 against Pakistan at Hamilton in his final knock pre-surgery.

"It's great to have Ross back. He has a phenomenal record that speaks for itself," Larsen said.

"He's obviously been an essential part of our Test side for a long time and brings invaluable experience and knowledge to the group."

Henry Nicholls has struggled in recent Tests but is set to bat again at No.5, having staved off the selection claims of uncapped pair Neil Broom and Colin Munro, who have shone in the limited overs formats.

Opener Jeet Raval and allrounder Colin de Grandhomme are both retained after excellent debut series against Pakistan.

"We've still got some relatively new players in the squad and playing in home conditions gives them a great opportunity to further their experience on the international stage," Larsen said.

Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner are again the likely seam trio while Matt Henry is a fourth option.

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Dean Brownlie, Colin de Grandhomme, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Matt Henry.

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