That Ross Taylor can smack a ball into orbit is well documented.

The question is will Taylor get his eye in quick enough today for the Central Districts Stags after surgery?

The Auckland Aces will be praying he doesn't when the Super Smash game starts at 4pm at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.

In the 2009-10 T20 final against the Aces, Taylor scored a match-winning 80 off 30 balls. He had forged a partnership of 133 runs from 53 balls with Kieran Noema-Barnett.


Just ask Michael Bates who went for 27 in one over, including three consecutive sixes.

In 2010, Taylor made a brutal unbeaten 80 not from 33 balls for Durham in the Friends Provident T20 tournament.

Having entered the Stags' environment, the 32-year-old Black Cap is thrilled to find a mixture of experience and youth working wonders for the team in a format that promises glitz and glamour to the winners at the club world championship next year.

" ... George Worker and Tom Bruce are scoring a lot of runs and having the best batsman in the competition in Mahela [Jayawardene] and learning from him so it's great for Central Districts Cricket," he said of Bruce and Ben Wheeler who are on track to make their T20 international debut next week.

Taylor has played 222 T20s domestically, amassing 4928 runs at an average of 30.6 and a highest score of an unbeaten 111.

A player who had caught national selectors' eye for his bolshy batting, he has 46 not outs and holds a strike rate of 133.4.

Taylor has carved up 25 half tons and made 105 catches domestically.

Someone who relishes returning to his home major district, he has inspired many.


Notably he gifted his bat and magnums of Hawke's Bay wine to spur Stags opening batsman Ben Smith to score centuries during a Plunket Shield match in October last year.

"I've been with CD as a youngster and they've always been good to me so I'm looking forward to coming to play for them again," he said, delighted to come in at a time when the T20 table-topping Stags are doing so well under pressure before their clash today against the second-placed Aces.

The visitors lost by nine wickets to ND Knights on Tuesday and so they'll be smarting today and desprate to keep their campaign on the front burner.

With Wheeler joining the Black Caps yesterday for the ODI against Bangladesh in Nelson today, CD Stags coach Heinrich Malan got a good look at Aussie import Luke Feldman in the nets at Pukekura Park.

"Yeah, he's a typical bowler who runs in and hits the deck pretty hard so they all think the same. They want to bowl their best ball every ball to get someone out," Malan said of the 32-year-old Brisbane Heat seamer who jetted in on Tuesday night.

He said with the exciting, aggressive brand CD employ they were excited to see how the Queensland police officer would fare today with a new ball to fill Wheeler's shoes.

Today will be memorable for six-ODI international Wheeler if he starts at Saxton Oval, his hometown district.

Taylor will come in at No 4 for CD with Malan likely to keep Joshua Clarkson for batting depth and Ryan McCone carrying the drinks.

"Roscoe's hitting the ball really well and he's had an extended hit today so he's on track to play tomorrow and he's looking forward to it."

Malan said Taylor had batted at No 4 his entie life for a world-class endorsement so there was no need to tinker with that.

That will mean T20 Black Cap-in-waiting Tom Bruce will drop to No 5 because CD skipper William Young occupies the position at first drop.

"He's a top-order player but we have structure that works pretty well so he can add a lot of value to that as well," he said of Taylor, back after eye surgery.

CD Stags (from): Tom Bruce, Joshua Clarkson, Dane Cleaver (wkt), Luke Feldman, Mahela Jayawardene, Marty Kain, Ryan McCone, Seth Rance, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, George Worker, William Young (c).

Auckland Aces (from): Michael Guptill-Bunce, Glenn Phillips (wk), Rob Nicol (c), Jeet Raval, Mark Chapman, Sean Solia, Michael Barry, Ben Horne, Donovan Grobbelaar, Tarun Nethula, Tymal Mills, Shawn Hicks.