Neil Broom to replace injured Ross Taylor for second Test against South Africa

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Neil Broom of New Zealand
Neil Broom of New Zealand. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

The 33-year-old Neil Broom is in line to make Test debut after being called up to replace the in-form Ross Taylor, who was ruled out of the second Test against South Africa due to his calf strain. Taylor will be reassessed after the Wellington Test to confirm his participation in the final match of the series in Hamilton.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and coach Mike Hesson said that Broom, who returned to the limited-overs teams at the start of the season, jumped up ahead in the queue due to his domestic experience and an injury to Dean Brownlie meant his return to the squad was imminent.

Trent Boult, the other injury concern would be assessed in the three days preceding the Wellington Test after a discomfort in his hip meant that he could not be able to bowl after tea on the fourth day of the first Test.

Taylor, New Zealand’s joint second-highest Test century maker alongside captain Williamson, suffered a low-grade tear of the right calf while batting on the second day and retired hurt on 8. He returned to complete his innings at the fall of the ninth wicket although his movements were restricted.

The 33-year-old gave up a deal with Derbyshire in the English county cricket to continue his international career after a gap of almost seven years when he was recalled to play Bangladesh. He scored his maiden international century in just his second match, followed it with a 97 and then went on to hit 73 against Australia in Auckland. However, he could follow it up against South Africa with scores of 2, 2 and a nought before being dropped from the squad.

As per ESPNcricinfo, Hesson, the New Zealand coach, said, “We’ve got an inexperienced batting line-up, so we were keen to have somebody with plenty of playing experience, someone who can play pace well and Neil has seen a little bit of South Africa before. We are going to miss Ross and that calming influence in the middle order, but it does provide an opportunity for Neil to step up and show us that he is ready for Test cricket.”

The South African skipper Faf du Plessis, on the other hand, was more than happy to see Neil Broom replacing an in-form Ross Taylor. He added “I haven’t played against him with the red ball. Seen a bit on him in the one-dayers. We were quite successful in getting rid of him, so hopefully, that will continue. It’s the experience they are going to miss with Ross. They can’t replace that straight away.”

Another name that made the list was that of Colin Munro; the left-handed who is the only player to average over 50 in the first-class circuit. His recent twin hundreds in a Plunket Shield match against Central Districts was overlooked by the selection committee.

“We are after an experienced middle-order player who can provide some solidity,” Hesson said. “Colin is a different sort of player to that. Obviously very destructive on his day.”

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Boult, on the other hand, will travel with the squad to Wellington and will be monitored due to a sore hip which prevented him from bowling the fourth day of the match.

New Zealand have brought in the necessary reinforcement in the form of Tim Southee, who was dropped earlier in the series and have also brought Matt Henry into the squad although skipper Williamson said that would have happened even without Boult’s injury.

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