New Zealand’s Ross Taylor played his hundredth Test match against India in Wellington at the Basin Reserve. He is now the only cricketer ever to play 100 matches in all three formats of international cricket.
Taylor has also played 231 ODI matches for New Zealand. He is currently his country’s leading run-scorer with 7174 runs in Test matches and 8570 runs in ODI matches. He played his 100th T20I match against India early in January, joining the ranks of his teammates Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill.
When asked about his upcoming achievement before the match at Basin Reserve, Taylor and the most fitting and humble response to it all.
“Really excited about the occasion. It’s not a great sign when you wake up in the morning and there’s some rain around. Ian Smith said a few words at an event last night, and it was very nice for the team and the family to experience something they might never do again. I’ll need some help drinking (the hundred bottles of wine), but they can be stored for a while.”
“It keeps the tradition from Fleming, Brendon (McCullum) and Daniel Vettori who all played over a hundred Tests each and hopefully we can celebrate this one with a win,” said Taylor.
Earlier, New Zealand won the toss and chose to field first. Skipper Kane Williamson said,
“We’re gonna have a bowl. It’s still a bit soft. We’ve seen in the past that there is often a green tinge. We need to bowl well upfront. (Daryll) Mitchell is the one to miss out on. It’s a bit soft on the top. Obviously, Neil has bigger things on his plate. Kyle (Jamieson) has bowled well in the white-ball leg, hopefully, he steps up. The guys have all enjoyed themselves but we have a job in hand and need to be focused.”
Indian skipper Virat Kohli said,
“We would have also bowled first. It’s a no-brainer on day one, gonna be overcast all day. That said, the pitch looks better than it was two days ago with a lot of the grass taken off. Still need to bat well. Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini, and Ravindra Jadeja are the ones missing out. Our bowling attack is more experienced now and it’s important to be patient in New Zealand conditions. We have the confidence in recent years about winning away from home.”
New Zealand: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling(w), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult
India: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah