New Zealand have recalled star man Ross Taylor to their T20 ranks ahead of the upcoming series with England.
The explosive batsman had, up until now, refused to be selected for the Kiwis following their revoking of his captaincy after the tour of Sri Lanka. His inclusion is crucial for the hosts who are bidding to improve upon a woeful run in the game’s shortest format. They’ve lost six of their previous seven completed matches and have been installed as 11/10 underdogs for the series with England, despite home advantage.
Of the 43 T20 innings he’s batted, Taylor averages 24.37 runs and has notched four 50’s at a scoring rate of 120.14. Most importantly, however, his ability to heave the ball beyond the boundary, something shared by new captain Brendan McCullum, will be able to put pressure on England’s under-pressure bowling unit.
India pummelled a second-string Three Lions attack in recent limited overs action with an aggressive approach at the crease and the New Zealanders will be looking for Taylor to try and replicate this.
Tim Bresnan’s persistent elbow complaint/ineffectuality with the ball on the sub-continent has seen him sent home from the touring party ahead of the New Zealand T20’s and this is likely to result in all-rounder Chris Woakes handed a spot in the lower-middle order.
The Warwickshire man has picked up three caps in the T20 game, though hasn’t featured since June 2011. Having taken just two wickets in this time, he clearly hasn’t been called upon for his strike-bowling prowess and his 12/1 to take more scalps than any of his teammates should be left alone.
However, he should make a contribution with the bat having made 37 in his previous three appearances as Ashley Giles’ men bid for a sixth straight T20 win over the Kiwis. They’re priced up as 4/6 favourites to win the series.
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