New Zealand name unchanged squad for third Test against South Africa

Ross Taylor swung hard after suffering a torn calf in Dunedin and will be assessed this week with a view to returning

Ross Taylor swung hard after suffering a torn calf in Dunedin and will be assessed this week with a view to returning

As South Africa wrapped up the second Test inside three days in Wellington on Saturday to lead the series 1-0, it was evident to New Zealand how little depth they had when two of their few stars were absent.

Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme was one of several poor dismissals against South Africa in Wellington and he could make way for an extra spinner in Hamilton.

The Kiwis stayed in the fight well to draw the first test in Dunedin‚ which was played on a painfully slow pitch that prompted them to select both left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner and off-spinner Jeetan Patel‚ who was preferred to fast bowler Tim Southee.

McMillan described the performance as "unacceptable" but said that did not mean there would be wholesale changes to the line-up.

His poor form in the series included a string of poor scores of 10, 8 and 6 runs in the two Tests, and 4, 7, 0, 0, 2 and a 0 in the one-day matches. Obviously the one-day games it did. It wouldn't surprise to see Ish Sodhi in the mix as an attacking option, too, after a seven-wicket Plunket Shield bag in Hamilton this month. I'm sure there'll be plenty of discussions.

Latham is in a slump which extended to eight global innings of 10 or under. He's scored six test hundreds and he's averaging a shade under 40.

Neil Broom gets another chance in Taylor's absence - Larsen pointing out if Taylor had been fit he would have been straight back in - and the selector liked what he saw from the Otago veteran in Wellington. That has remained a major concern for New Zealand, but the selectors have retained their faith in the players.

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It seems the message did not get through, though, as they found themselves 2-0 down after just seven minutes. We knew we were coming on the back of an terrible away record and we wanted to try and put that right.

"I think he's the best No. 3 in the world", said McMillan.

"Yesterday was a awful day and to lose within three days was unacceptable".

"Yesterday was a bad day and to lose within three days is unacceptable so the group's hurting, and [it's] disappointing but something we have to acknowledge", said McMillan.

"That [debrief] will take place today and tomorrow, a review and some self-reflection amongst the whole group".

"It's important to remember, while yesterday wasn't good, it's only just over a week ago that we performed pretty well in that first Test".

"We've got the best players in New Zealand in the squad", McMillan said.

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