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Taylor's South African series up in air

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/03/2017

Ross Taylor returned to the crease on Friday but his future involvement in the series remains uncertain. © Dianne Manson/Getty Images Ross Taylor returned to the crease on Friday but his future involvement in the series remains uncertain. New Zealand Cricket won't just yet rule an injured Ross Taylor out of the rest of the South African series, and will make a call at the end of the first Test in Dunedin.

Taylor suffered a low grade tear to his right calf while batting on Thursday. He left for a scan but was able to return to bat on Friday afternoon at University Oval.

He couldn't run freely but was able to extend his innings to 15 not out.

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It was too early to make a call on his fitness for the remain two matches and the team would wait until the end of the Dunedin match before deciding, an NZC spokesman said.

He could have returned to bat earlier in the New Zealand innings as the Kiwis wanted more runs, but it was felt the risk would be minimised if he was the last batsman in.

Taylor admitted he wasn't that confident in his calf while batting.

"When I was walking out to the middle I was hoping I wouldn't get timed out," Taylor told RadioSport after the day's play.

Taylor, 33, averages 47 from 80 Tests, but just 25.11 from eight matches against South Africa.

Possible replacements are Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Colin Munro or Tom Bruce after one-day opener Martin Guptill was also ruled out with injury.

Guptill, who thrashed 180 against South Africa in Hamilton, will miss the rest of the domestic season and the beginning of the IPL Twenty20 so he can spend six weeks strengthening and conditioning his injured hamstrings.

The 30-year-old suffered strains to both legs during the summer and Black Caps coach Mike Hesson says they want him 100 per cent fit for the Champions Trophy in England and Wales in June.

The Aucklander has struggled as an opener at Test level and it has been suggested he could return to the longer format down the order.

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