Ross Taylor likes playing at Seddon Park in Hamilton and he's got one solid theory why.

"I live here and sleep in my own bed and I guess you know what you're going to get here," the veteran New Zealand batsman said yesterday heading into his 10th test on the ground.

He's averaging 48.81 with four centuries, compared to an overall mark of 47.46 over his 82-test career.

"It is nice to stay at home. You try and do all the normal things, be a dad, make breakfast, take your mind away from the game.


"I didn't know that [his record in Hamilton] but I've played all right here."

Now add in Taylor's record against the West Indies, blend the two together and you'd fancy he's a decent chance to join his mentor Martin Crowe and current skipper Kane Williamson at the top of New Zealand's test century tree on 17 during the coming days.

Taylor averages a whopping 64.4 in 11 tests against the West Indies and that includes three centuries on their last visit to New Zealand four years ago when he went 217, 129, 131 at Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton.

A year ago the significant discussion point about Taylor was his eye irritation, which necessitated surgery. It introduced the cricket public to the term terygium. And now?

"I actually see the ball swing for the first time in a couple of years. I don't know how I got any runs before that.

"Seriously, I do see the ball swing a little bit more than I used to, especially earlier on.

"I think I notice it more when I play day-night games and it's a bit darker, that's when I really struggled and at the start of my innings. Touch wood it's okay. A year ago; it's gone quick."

The pitch at Seddon Park has spent much of its time under cover this week with the suspicion, enhanced by Taylor yesterday, that it was good to go 24 hours ahead of time.


He expects help for the seamers for at least the early part of play today and overhead conditions — the forecast is good for today — will play a part.

Taylor confirmed Tim Southee will replace Matt Henry in the only change from the team who won the first test this week by an innings and 67 runs.

If he was of a mind to offer the West Indies bowlers a piece of advice, it would be to think hard on their lengths.

"They did create pressure with their short pitched bowling, but you've still got to have the ability to get an lbw," he said.

"I think the bowlers will be able to swing it a little more and pitching it up will be key to that. It will be bouncy but not to the extent of the Basin Reserve."

Kraigg Brathwaite is one of two West Indies survivors from the 2013 test in Hamilton, along with opening partner Kieran Powell. He's the stand-in captain for the suspended Jason Holder.

The key for him will be keeping up an aggressive mindset.

"Backing the bowlers to do a good job, look to get wickets in clusters if possible. The key is the first innings total [the West Indies managed a paltry 134 at the Basin] to put ourselves in a good position."

New Zealand will start warm favourites. The West Indies looked short on batting stickability and test match nous in Wellington.

Then again, that may have been said after they got flogged at Edgbaston a few months ago. A week later they'd beaten England for a great victory at Headingley.

The West Indies have options to replace Holder, notably legspinner Devendra Bishoo, with 102 wickets in 28 tests.

The last time here the West Indies used two spinners, Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul. New Zealand won by eight wickets.

They will start second favourites, but have some form for bouncing back with spirit. Bottom line — they've won four and lost 11 of their 19 tests in the last two years.

Anything less than a second victory, having placed their foot firmly on the West Indian throat, will leave New Zealand disappointed.

NZ v West Indies

Second test

Hamilton, starts 11am today

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Jeet Raval, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Blundell, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.

West Indies: (from) Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Sunil Ambris, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, Devendra Bishoo, Ray Reifer.