Taylor in line for return in Island of Origin match
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor is in line to make a return from injury at the Island of Origin T20 match on February 28 in Wellington, which is being seen as a warm-up game before the team's departure for the World T20 in India. The batsman had suffered a muscle tear in his left side during the T20I series against Pakistan last month. While the injury kept him out of the Pakistan ODIs and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy and Tests against Australia, he is in contention for the World T20, which starts from March 8.
Apart from Taylor, eight other players of New Zealand's World T20 squad will also feature in the match. The North Island squad, captained by Taylor, includes allrounder Grant Elliott, fast bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne, batsman Colin Munro, wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi and legspinner Ish Sodhi. The South Island squad, which will be captained by Tom Latham, includes offspinner Nathan McCullum and batsman Henry Nicholls.
National selector Gavin Larsen said the match was an opportunity for several players to get into T20 mode before they left for India.
"It's two very strong teams who will both be eager on taking bragging rights," Larsen said. "It's also a great chance for a number of players to get back into Twenty20 mode ahead of the tournament in India.
"We'll be watching with interest, as it's also a chance for a number of fringe players to push their case for higher honours going forward."
North Island: Ross Taylor (capt), Todd Astle, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Grant Elliott, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Ish Sodhi, George Worker
South Island: Tom Latham (capt), Dean Brownlie, Jacob Duffy, Andrew Ellis, Peter Fulton, Matt Henry, Nathan McCullum, Henry Nicholls (wk), Marty Kain, Hamish Rutherford, Nathan Smith, Neil Wagner