Taylor recovering quickly from shoulder injury
Ross Taylor is confident he will return from injury earlier than anticipated, but it will still be too late to revive New Zealand's one-day hopes unless they can stay alive in the series in St Kitts on Wednesday. Taylor is recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained during the first Twenty20 loss to West Indies in Florida, and he has been batting in the nets over the past two days.
Initially, Taylor said the problem would keep him out for "anywhere between two and six weeks", but ten days after suffering the injury he is already gearing up for a return. It remains to be seen whether that will be during the one-day series, which finishes on Monday, or for the first Test, which begins in two weeks.
"It was my first net against the quicks [today]," Taylor said in St Kitts on Tuesday. "I had the spinners yesterday. It was nice to get out there. It was a little bit better today. There's still a little bit of pain there but if I can keep improving like I have every day then I'm every chance of hopefully playing a little bit earlier than I was first expecting when I first heard about the injury."
In Taylor's absence, the captaincy duties have fallen to the young batsman Kane Williamson, who has not yet found a way to deliver victory to a side that is struggling. However, Williamson scored 58 in the second ODI in Jamaica on Saturday, and Taylor has been impressed with the way he has handled the responsibility of leading a squad in which only two players, Doug Bracewell and Tom Latham, are younger than him.
"He's been great. He's only young, and to come out here and captain guys who are a lot older than him is always a little bit intimidating," Taylor said. "But the players respect him. He's got a good cricket brain and the way he batted in the last game showed what a mature player he is. Hopefully for his own confidence he can continue that form with the bat and hopefully everyone else can rally around him and give him that first win which will give him a lot of confidence.
"I've talked to him quite a bit. He's been very forthcoming with asking questions and picking my brain. Hopefully he has learnt a lot. He's got my full support and hopefully he can continue the way he's going so far."
New Zealand must win on Wednesday to keep the five-match series alive, after West Indies took a 2-0 lead in Jamaica over the past week. Should New Zealand fail, it will be their first loss to West Indies in a bilateral ODI series in ten years, and Taylor believes the side has the ability to turn their form around.
"We've just got to forget about the last two games and try and be as confident as possible," he said. "When you do lose 2-0 you start second guessing yourself a little bit, but we've got to be as positive as possible and know that our performance in every game so far has been slightly better."