Lack of preparation not an excuse - Taylor
Ross Taylor, the New Zealand captain, has said the absence of formal pre-tour preparation would not be an excuse if his side should under perform in the USA and the Caribbean. New Zealand left for their tour, which begins with two Twenty20s against West Indies in Florida, on Sunday.
New Zealand have not played since hosting South Africa in February and March and had no camp prior to departure. They will not have any warm-up games before the limited-overs matches either. Taylor said that wasn't ideal. "You've got to weigh up travelling to rest. There are a few players that have come from England - Guppy [Martin Guptill] and Kane Williamson," he told Fairfax News. "I guess the IPL players played not so long ago, and there's other players [who have] been in Australia. It's not ideal preparation, but it is what it is, and we'll have no excuses once we get over there."
Taylor said West Indies might be better prepared for the series, having played against England and Australia recently, and expected them to be a tough unit. "They're coming in from playing cricket, so I guess they will be better prepared than us. It's still no excuse for us. We're a professional team and we need to start off as well as possible.
"[The West Indies] have got some youngsters who have probably had a lot more experience over the last couple of years. Two years ago, they were a very inexperienced side but [today] they're a very competitive side on their home track."
The tour of West Indies is John Wright's last as New Zealand coach and Taylor was keen to end his tenure with success. "We don't want to make it a swan song. Obviously it's going to be a little bit emotional for John, but we want to get out there and win. Obviously win for ourselves, but win for John as well. He's been a good servant for New Zealand cricket."
While he would prefer a New Zealander to succeed Wright as coach, Taylor hoped the best applicant would be chosen. "It would be nice [if the coach was from New Zealand], but it's not the be all and end all," he said. "We have Australian assistant bowling, fielding and batting coaches, so I guess if there's a New Zealand connection in there somewhere, it would be nice. But at the end of the day, we just want the best applicant for the job."