Cricket: Taylor out for several weeks

By Daniel Richardson

Ross Taylor in action for the Black Caps. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor in action for the Black Caps. Photo / Getty Images

Opener Brendon McCullum will captain New Zealand for the rest of their one-off test match against Zimbabwe after Ross Taylor tore his right calf this morning.

The big-hitting No 4 started day two of the test on 111 and pushed through to 122 before he pulled up lame after he took off for a single.

Taylor went for further examination later in the day and although he didn't speak to the media, this afternoon he tweeted: "Grade 2 tear. Out for 3-4 weeks. Thanks for all the messages.''

With a limited overs series to be played against Zimbabwe before South Africa tour New Zealand next month Taylor won't be involved and Black Caps coach John Wright will likely take a cautious approach with the jewel in his batting crown.

When Taylor departed, BJ Watling and Doug Bracewell combined at the crease at McLean Park and added 27 from 34 balls before the heavens opened and the players left the field at 11.42am.

No further play was possible and despite the rain easing in the middle of the afternoon umpires Enamul Haque and Rod Tucker, deemed the ground was too wet.

Watling, who brought up his second test half century in his seventh appearance in the whites, was frustrated the weather turned for the worse when it did.

"It probably came at the wrong time there. I was starting to feel quite good and just starting to create a bit of a strike rate. So it was a bit disappointing, but it happens. It's cricket,'' Watling said.

"It's good to get out there feel good about your game and start hitting a few out of the middle. Good to find some form.

"It's obviously a confidence booster to get some runs out there.''

Watling began the morning on 15 and the 26-year-old, who was the most talked about player in the side before the test got underway due to him being handed the wicketkeeping gloves, looked rather impressive.

He drove the ball nicely and was particularly strong off his legs as he rattled along at a quick clip in the opening hour.

Zimbabwe shelled a prime opportunity to expose New Zealand's long tail when Forster Mutizwa dropped Bracewell during an eventful period of play in the morning.

Watling said tomorrow's first hour could be entertaining viewing as the home side go in search of quick runs to add to their first innings total, considering the hard-hitting Bracewell was still in the middle.

"He was brilliant [today]. He was quite chilled there and obviously got a few away and we'll start again in the morning and we might see some good hitting from Dougy tomorrow, which will be good to watch.''

Watling said there was still plenty of time to force a result in the match and backed their four-strong seam attack and spinner Daniel Vettori to do the business.

"We'll probably have a chat tomorrow morning about the situation. It might require a few quicker runs tomorrow morning or whatnot. So we just need to reassess that tomorrow and see where the game goes. I think the next few days are fine anyway. So we'll back our bowlers to take 20 wickets in the next three days.''

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