New Zealand are in a strong position following day two of the opening Test after Kane Williamson's century guided the hosts to an imposing first-innings total against Pakistan.

Williamson chalked up his 23rd Test hundred, the Black Caps captain's 129 leading New Zealand to 431 all out at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

In response, Pakistan lost an early wicket – opener Shan Masood (10) dismissed by Kyle Jamieson (1-5) – before reaching 30-1 at stumps.

Abid Ali (19 not out) and nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas (0 not out) will return to the crease, with Pakistan still trailing by 401 runs.

New Zealand resumed on 222-3 on the second day of the first contest – Williamson making his way back out to the middle unbeaten on 94.

It was only a matter of time before Williamson raised his bat to celebrate back-to-back Test tons, having reached triple figures against West Indies, after Henry Nicholls posted a half-century from 108 deliveries.

A pair of wickets fell prior to lunch, Nicholls (56) and Williamson, as the pair's 133-run stand was eventually snapped – Naseem Shah (1-96) broke the partnership with the first ball after drinks and Williamson followed four deliveries later after edging Yasir Shah (3-113) to Haris Sohail.

New Zealand were 281-5 when Williamson departed, but BJ Watling guided the Black Caps past the 400-run mark as he recorded his fifty prior to the tea break.

Watling reached 73 in the final session before becoming Shaheen Afridi's fourth victim (4-109), while Jamieson (32), Mitchell Santner and Neil Wagner (both 19) made contributions as Tim Southee (0) fell cheaply.

Ross Taylor claimed New Zealand's handling of spinner Yasir Shah will dictate how the first Test pans out as he reflected on becoming his country's most capped cricketer.

The Black Caps reached 222-3 at stumps on day one in Mount Maunganui on Saturday as Taylor (70) and captain Kane Williamson (94 not out) helped the Kiwis rebuild from 13-2.

Taylor's appearance brought up a notable personal milestone as he broke the record for most games for New Zealand in all formats with 438, overtaking Daniel Vettori, and the 36-year-old was given a standing ovation at the Bay Oval as he went to the crease.

He marked the landmark appearance in style, putting on 120 runs for the third wicket with Williamson before he fell to Shaheen Afridi (3-55).

"Every time you represent your country, it's a special moment," Taylor told a media conference.

"To represent them 400-odd times and to get the record, it's not what I play for, but it's nice to have got it and a special occasion. 

"I got some nice words from BJ Watling and the team this morning and it felt a little bit like my 100th Test [he now has 104], going out to bat today with a standing ovation. 

"I didn't hear what the ground announcer said, but he must have told the crowd, because I'm sure they wouldn't have known."

Taylor acknowledged that while New Zealand were in a good position leg-spinner Yasir (0-56) remains the danger man.

He added: "When Yasir Shah was bowling, we were on our toes. Quite often the spinners in New Zealand don't bowl much on day one or at all, so it shows what type of wicket it is. 

"Obviously, we are happy with where we are at 222-3 and would have taken that at the start of the day. 

"But it's how we turn up on Sunday and get through that first hour or two that really dictates how good a day this really was.

"Yasir Shah is a world-class bowler and even the way he bowled today, just trying to get through his overs, pick and choose his moments when he tried to attack.

"We've got a bit of luck and we're fortunate to get through that stage. But he's definitely going to play a big part tomorrow and whenever we bat again."

Shaheen claimed Pakistan's sloppiness in the field cost them as they put down key chances, including dropping Williamson when he was on 18.

"They batted hard but I am frustrated by the dropped catches. It's disappointing when you drop catches," he said.

"We did try to get wickets early on with new balls and took two wickets but if you don't take catches it will be difficult.

"It's a part of the game but if you need to win matches you have to take catches and have to improve the fielding. 

"They know how to play in their conditions so it is tough, but the ball is still new and we will come hard to take wickets as early as possible."

Kane Williamson put New Zealand in a strong position, nearing a century against Pakistan after day one of the first Test.

The Black Caps captain reached 94 not out to guide New Zealand to 222-3 at the close of play at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.

Shaheen Afridi (3-55) had put Pakistan on top early after they elected to bowl, but Williamson and Ross Taylor led the hosts' response.

Taylor departed for 70 in what was a milestone appearance as he broke the record for most games for New Zealand in all formats with 438.

Henry Nicholls (42) was unbeaten alongside Williamson at stumps with the Black Caps in position to build on day two.

Pakistan made the most of the early conditions as Shaheen reduced New Zealand to 13-2.

Shaheen had openers Tom Latham (4) and Tom Blundell (5) caught at third slip.

But Pakistan would be left to rue dropping Williamson, Shan Masood putting down a tough chance when the New Zealand captain was on 18.

Taylor and Williamson predictably led the Black Caps' response, combining for a 120-run third-wicket partnership.

Williamson brought up his 55th score of 50-plus in Test cricket, equalling the New Zealand record held in the format by Stephen Fleming.

Shaheen struck again to remove Taylor caught behind before Nicholls was dropped on six in a further setback for Pakistan.

The second new ball almost brought another wicket for Shaheen, Williamson – on 86 – edging to first slip where Haris Sohail was unable to grab a low chance.

The Barbados Tridents’ stuttering defence of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title finally ended as they again failed to make three figures against a well-balanced Guyana Amazon Warriors attack.

A team in transition was what Ross Taylor found when he joined the ranks of the black caps in 2006.

Gone were the names of the 1990s and New Zealand needed a new talisman. Taylor has not disappointed, scoring his first century in just his third One-Day International, 128, against Sri Lanka in Napier.

Taylor is brave. Known for slog sweeping quick bowlers with no thought to the danger such a ploy poses to his health. He is also a very powerful puller and cutter of the ball.

With great power comes great responsibility and Taylor has shown himself up to the task of providing the Black Caps with that necessary consistency over the last 10 years, while they hone tremendous talent around him. At 36, Taylor is in the twilight of his career but nobody would bet against him adding to his 21 ODI centuries and 51 half-centuries.                 

Career Statistics

Full name: Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor

Born: March 8, 1984, Lower Hutt, Wellington

Major teams: New Zealand, Australian Capital Territory, Central Districts, Central Districts Under-19s, Delhi Daredevils, Durham, Jamaica Tallawahs, Middlesex, New Zealand Emerging Players, New Zealand Under-19s, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St Lucia Zouks, Sussex, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Victoria

Playing role: Middle-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (2006-present)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      BF         SR      100s    50s     4s      6s     

232     216      39     8574      181*   48.44    10273   83.46      21      51      711    146   

 

Career Highlights

  • First Kiwi to have centuries against all Test-playing nations in ODIs
  • Tallied 8574 runs at an average of 48.44
  • Produced 21 centuries and 51 half-centuries in ODIs
  • Between 2015 and 2017, he averaged 61.48
  • Between 2018 and the present, he’s averaged 68.46

Kane Williamson fell short of a century as New Zealand earned a 51-run lead but India struck back with late wickets on day two of the opening Test.

New Zealand captain Williamson scored 89 runs to help the Black Caps to 216-5 against touring India at stumps in Wellington on Saturday.

But India claimed three wickets during the final session – including the scalp of Williamson – to regain some ground before bad light stopped play after New Zealand threatened to surge clear.

The opening day at Basin Reserve was ended by rain on Friday, with India reduced to 122-5 through just 55 overs due to wet weather.

New Zealand debutant Kyle Jamieson (4-39) starred on day one and he was among the wickets again as India were bowled out for 165 before lunch on Saturday – Virat Kohli's visitors losing 43-5.

Rishabh Pant (19) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) returned to the crease attempting to revive India's flagging innings but an awful mix-up and a stunning piece of fielding from Ajax Patel sparked the Black Caps.

Pant was left high and dry following Patel's direct hit and the wickets kept tumbling for India as New Zealand paceman Tim Southee took centre stage with figures of 4-49.

Southee dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin (0) first ball and then secured the prized wicket of Rahane before sending Mohammed Shami back to the pavilion for 21, while Jamieson had Ishant Sharma (5) caught behind.

The Black Caps navigated a tricky period prior to lunch with the bat, but opener Tom Latham (11) soon fell victim to Sharma (3-31) and the latter then skittled Tom Blundell (30) to leave New Zealand 73-2.

Williamson and Ross Taylor, however, combined for a valuable 93-run partnership to lead the hosts to 166-3 before Sharma removed Taylor just six runs shy of a half-century.

Black Caps skipper Williamson, who posted his 32nd Test fifty, was 11 runs short of another ton after slicing a Shami (1-61) delivery to substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja.

One more wicket fell as stumps approached, Henry Nicholls sent packing by Ashwin (1-60) as BJ Watling (14 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (4 not out) ended the day unbeaten in the middle.

New Zealand dominated the start of the first Test against India before the opening day was ended by rain in Wellington.

On debut, Kyle Jamieson (3-38) starred after the Black Caps decided to bowl first at Basin Reserve on Friday.

Virat Kohli (2) was among the 25-year-old paceman's scalps as India were reduced to 122-5 before rain led to an early stumps with just 55 overs bowled.

Ajinkya Rahane (38 not out) top-scored for India and was unbeaten alongside Rishabh Pant (10) as the tourists were left with work to do.

New Zealand needed just five overs to capitalise on the bowler-friendly conditions.

Tim Southee (1-27) got some movement away, hitting Prithvi Shaw's off-stump to dismiss the opener for 16.

The Black Caps continued to cause problems before Jamieson claimed his first Test wicket, Cheteshwar Pujara (11) edging through to BJ Watling.

Jamieson then struck a huge blow by removing Kohli, Ross Taylor – playing his 100th Test – taking a catch at first slip to leave India at 40-3.

Mayank Agarwal and Rahane managed to steady India heading into lunch, but they were slowed by the Black Caps after the break.

Trent Boult (1-44) dropped a return chance off Agarwal before getting his first wicket two balls later, Jamieson taking a catch at long leg.

Jamieson's incredible day continued as Hanuma Vihari (7) edged behind to Watling to leave India at 101-5.

Rahane and Pant got to tea before the rain arrived, ending a strong day for New Zealand.

Shane Bond has hailed the "incredible" Ross Taylor as a New Zealand great ahead of his 100th Test and believes the Black Caps will secure a series win over India.

Taylor will become the first player to make 100 appearances for his country in all formats when he faces Virat Kohli's side in a first Test that gets under way at Basin Reserve on Friday.

The prolific batsman has established himself as one of the best batsmen in the world since making his international debut back in 2006 and was man of the series in a 3-0 ODI whitewash of India this month.

Bond was a team-mate of Taylor's when he made his Test, ODI and Twenty20 International debuts and the paceman has also been part of the Black Caps coaching staff after retiring in 2010.

The former quick says Taylor, who turns 36 next month, will go down as one of the best players New Zealand have ever produced.

He told Omnisport: "I've known Rosco for a long time, he's a ripping bloke and he's been a sensational player for New Zealand. He's definitely one of our greatest players.

"I didn't think he'd achieve what he has done in Test cricket, I think he's redefined himself. At the start he was a dynamic white-ball player, he could score all around the wicket a rate of knots.

"He's changed his player to also be an incredible Test player. He's changed the way he plays in one-day cricket to clearly be one of the best in the world, but now T20 as well.

"That's the sign of a great player is to continue to reinvent himself, continue to develop his game and I think what he has done has been remarkable, he's been such a stalwart for New Zealand and has been a massive part of some strong performances at major tournaments."

Bond says Taylor has plenty more runs in him yet at the highest level and can feature in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

"It's great to see what he has achieved and hopefully he'll be going for a few more years, because I know he's motivated to keep going and he's enjoying his cricket," he added.

"I think the way he's playing, in one-day cricket he's our best player form-wise. He's talked about the next World Cup and players are going on for longer in the modern game, so I certainly wouldn't count that out as long as he's hungry and churning out runs he can be in there as long as he wants."

India have won all seven games in the ICC World Test Championship and top the rankings, but Bond thinks New Zealand can bring them back down to earth.

Asked if he is confident of a series win, he replied: "Yeah I think so, we won the last series here against them when they had a really good team.

"I think the Indian bowling attack has improved; Ishant [Sharma], [Jasprit ] Bumrah, [Mohammed] Shami is a quality line-up. You need that here.

"It's going to be challenging for New Zealand, but we are tough to beat in our own conditions and the toss is important, because the wickets tend to do a bit then just flatten out and don't turn - especially Wellington and Christchurch.

"New Zealand will miss [Neil] Wagner in the first Test, but it's an attritional game here and because New Zealand are a very fit team, they have worn teams down. I think it'll be incredibly close and because it doesn't turn, that probably takes away some of the weapons India have."

Trent Boult has been recalled by New Zealand for the two-match Test series against India after the pace attack leader recovered from a broken right hand.

The 30-year-old left-armer missed the ODIs and Twenty20 matches between the teams after suffering his injury during the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne.

However, he features in a 13-man squad ahead of the opening Test, which begins at Wellington's Basin Reserve on Friday.

Boult, who has 256 wickets from 65 Tests, is included alongside fellow quicks Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson, with Lockie Ferguson absent due to a calf injury and Ajaz Patel included as the spin option.

Coach Gary Stead said: "It's terrific to have Trent back with us and we're looking forward to the energy and experience he adds to the group alongside his obvious class with the ball in hand.

"Kyle will offer us a point of difference with the bounce he could extract on what is traditionally a good surface in Wellington.

"We're excited to welcome back Ajaz who has done a great job for us overseas and has a proven domestic record in New Zealand conditions."

Ross Taylor is due to win his 100th cap in the first Test, becoming the fourth New Zealand player to reach that mark, after Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori and Stephen Fleming.

Stead said: "To play 100 Tests for your country is an incredible achievement and a testament to his work ethic and complete professionalism."


New Zealand squad for Test series against India: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Ross Taylor felt the return of some familiar faces helped New Zealand record a stunning ODI victory over India on Wednesday.

Taylor put on a masterclass as his unbeaten 109 helped New Zealand – playing in their first one-dayer since the dramatic defeat to England in the Cricket World Cup final last year – to a four-wicket triumph in Hamilton.

The result came after a 5-0 defeat to India in the Twenty20 series, though Taylor believes having added experience in the one-day squad was a decisive factor in a high-scoring contest.

"We lost in a clean sweep in the T20 series, but all we talked about was the new personnel coming in – there was no hangover for them," Taylor told a news conference.

"I'm sure it must play on their mind a little bit, they're human and towards the end we lost a couple of wickets but at the same time, our last ODI was a World Cup final.

"A lot of guys have played in a lot of pressure situations. There's probably more experience in this side than the T20 side and I think that showed. But it's only one game, there's still a long way to go in the series.

"The older you get the better you deal with different situations. I had a lot of help out there.

"It's small margins, it could have been a different result but that's cricket, it's why we love the game. Those little things went our way today and in the T20 series they didn't."

Without injured captain Kane Williamson, stand-in skipper Tom Latham put India into bat, but the decision appeared to have backfired when the tourists reached 347-4.

However, inspired by Taylor – who was ably supported by Henry Nicholls (78) and Latham (69) – the Black Caps managed their highest successful run chase in ODI cricket.

"It's the tough thing about playing in some of these grounds in New Zealand, you don't know what a par total is," Taylor said.

"I think there were some great contributions through the whole order and even the bowlers, because it looked like India could get 360, 370 at one stage so it was nice for us to just keep it under that 350 psychological mark.

"If anything, what made that chase a little easier for us was left-right combinations. We knew there was one short boundary and we were able to use that to our advantage."

Ross Taylor hit an unbeaten century as New Zealand pulled off their second-highest successful ODI run chase to beat India by four wickets and end an eight-match losing streak.

The Black Caps started the three-match ODI series at Seddon Park on Wednesday smarting from a 5-0 Twenty20 whitewash at the hands of India and had captain Kane Williamson among a string of absentees due to injury. 

New Zealand's hopes of stopping the rot, which started with a 3-0 Test series loss to Australia, looked slim when India posted 347-4 after being put in by stand-in skipper Tom Latham.

Shreyas Iyer (103) scored a maiden international hundred and KL Rahul blasted six sixes in an unbeaten 88 from only 64 balls after Virat Kohli (51) made yet another half-century.

New Zealand made light work of chasing down such a huge target, Taylor (109 not out) crafting a 21st ODI century to get them home with 11 balls to spare in their first match in the 50-over format since a heartbreaking Cricket World Cup final defeat to England.

Henry Nicholls (78) and Latham (69) also made contributions in a stunning victory, with head coach Gary Stead not present to witness it after taking a "pre-planned" break.

The tourists - missing the injured Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan - lost ODI debutants Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal in quick succession after an opening stand of 50.

New Zealand had a long wait for another breakthrough, though, as Iyer and Kohli put India on their way to posting a big total, the skipper hitting six boundaries in an effortless knock before he was bowled by Ish Sodhi.

Iyer struggled for fluency, but started to take more risks after he and Kohli put on 102, with Rahul at his explosive best in a brutal onslaught as India piled on the runs.

Rahul set about Sodhi and Tim Southee with a magnificent display of timing and power, while Iyer had his first hundred after being dropped by Colin de Grandhomme on 83.

Southee finally ended Iyer's knock to halt a partnership of 136, but Rahul and Kedar Jadhav (26 not out off 15) added another 55 off only 27 balls.

Nicholls and Martin Guptill set the platform for the run chase with an opening stand of 85 before the latter ramped Shardul Thakur to Jadhav and Tom Blundell was stumped off Kuldeep for only nine in his first ODI innings. 

The in-form Nicholls was in great touch as he coasted to another half-century and Taylor clattered Jasprit Bumrah for six over midwicket with disdain.

Kohli swooped to run Nicholls out, but Taylor raised his bat for a 45-ball half-century and Latham signalled his intent from the start as he and the former skipper made it advantage New Zealand. 

Shardul was smashed for 22 in the 40th over and Taylor celebrated an imperious hundred off only 73 balls after Latham lofted the expensive Kuldeep (2-84) to Mohammed Shami at long-on.

Jimmy Neesham and de Grandhomme failed to hang around following that stand of 138 between Lathan and Taylor, but the number four was still there to hit the winning runs in the penultimate over.

New Zealand suffered another horrendous collapse to hand India a seven-run win and 5-0 series victory in Ross Taylor's 100th T20 international on Sunday.

Tim Seifert (50) and milestone man Taylor (53) had steered the Black Caps to within sight of a consolation win at Bay Oval before familiar frailties again cost them near the finish line.

Jasprit Bumrah claimed 3-12 from his four overs and Navdeep Saini chipped in with 2-23 to destabilise New Zealand as they tried and failed to chase down 163.

India rested Virat Kohli and will hope Rohit Sharma, who top-scored with 60, quickly recovers from the suspected calf injury that prematurely ended his innings as they look ahead to the forthcoming ODI series.

After stand-in skipper Rohit elected to bat, India initially looked on course to exceed the 165 they set prior to prevailing in a Super Over at Westpac Stadium two days ago.

Sanju Samson squandered the opportunity granted to him in Kohli's absence, the opener driving Scott Kuggeleijn's wide delivery straight to Mitchell Santner at short cover, but his second-over exit failed to prevent the tourists from making a strong start.

Rohit and KL Rahul (45) put on 88 in 10 overs before the latter presented another simple catch to all-rounder Santner, this time from Hamish Bennett's bowling.

Shreyas Iyer made a sedate 31-ball 33 as India struggled to accelerate after Rohit decided he was unable to continue, having received treatment for a muscle problem.

Kuggeleijn removed Shivam Dube for five at the end of the 19th over and, though Tim Southee went for 52 from his allotted overs, the Black Caps appeared to have restricted India to an achievable target.

That especially seemed to be the case during the rapid 99-run partnership between Taylor and Seifert, the pair at one point taking 34 from six Dube deliveries.

But, having lost their nerve in back-to-back Super Over losses in Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand's habit of throwing away winning positions again became an issue.

Seifert and Daryl Mitchell succumbed to Saini and Bumrah in consecutive overs to force a change in momentum, which completely swung India's way as Santner, Kuggeleijn and Taylor all departed in quick succession.

The Black Caps had lost 5-25 when Bumrah scrambled Southee's stumps to give little meaning to some late Ish Sodhi fireworks at the end of a lopsided series.

Australia completed a 3-0 series sweep of New Zealand after David Warner's century and another Nathan Lyon five-for helped the hosts claim a crushing 279-run win in the third Test.

Warner scored an unbeaten 111 to lead Australia to 217-2 declared in their second innings and a mammoth lead of 416 runs on day four at the SCG on Monday.

And New Zealand's horror tour in the trans-Tasman series finally came to an end after being dismissed for 136 during the final half-hour, as Matt Henry did not bat due to injury.

Ross Taylor (22) made history by becoming New Zealand's all-time leading Test runscorer, however, it was another forgettable day for the visitors as Australia spinner Lyon (5-50) finished the match with 10 wickets.

The Black Caps were reduced to 4-2 inside five overs after Mitchell Starc (3-25) tore through openers Tom Latham (1) and Tom Blundell (2), while Lyon and Pat Cummins (1-29) joined in to leave New Zealand reeling on 38-5 after tea.

Taylor was skittled by a stunning Cummins delivery in the over after surpassing Stephen Fleming for his country's record as Australia steamrolled New Zealand inside four days for the third consecutive Test.

Colin de Grandhomme (52), BJ Watling (19) and Todd Astle (17) provided some resistance but Australia showed their class to remain undefeated in their home season.

Tim Paine's side resumed on 40-0, with Warner and his under-pressure opening partner Joe Burns setting about building upon an already commanding lead of 243.

Only two wickets fell as Warner celebrated his third century of the Australian summer and 24th of his career – taking his tally to 786 runs at 131 against Pakistan and New Zealand.

Burns added 24 to his overnight score when he was trapped lbw by Astle (1-41), for 40 despite originally being given not out.

Marnus Labuschagne (59) contributed a quick-fire half-century – his seventh score above 50 in eight innings – before going out swinging to Matt Henry (1-54).

Australia's innings also featured a five-run penalty after umpire Aleem Dar ruled Labuschagne and Warner ran down the protected area of the pitch – the five runs added to New Zealand's first innings, improving it from 251 to 256.

In the final analysis, it made scant difference.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has become the country's all-time leading Test run-scorer, surpassing Stephen Fleming.

Taylor made history when he reached 21 in New Zealand's second innings against Australia in the third and final Test at the SCG on Monday.

The 35-year-old reached the milestone when he hit Nathan Lyon for three to move past Fleming's record of 7,172 Test runs.

Taylor moved top of the all-time list in his 99th match and 175th innings, however, his celebration was short-lived on another tough day for the Black Caps.

An angling delivery from Pat Cummins steamrolled Taylor and knocked over the stumps to dismiss the record-breaker for 22.

Taylor's dismissal left New Zealand reeling on 38-5 on day four of the final Test, having already lost the trans-Tasman series following back-to-back defeats to Australia.

Ross Taylor accepts Australia are in a dominant position after three days of the first Test, yet the New Zealand captain is hoping the Black Caps' spirit can save them in Perth.

Eleven wickets fell on day three as Australia - 167-6 at stumps in their second innings - took a 417-run lead to establish firm control of the day-night encounter.

The Black Caps began the day on 109-5, with Taylor unbeaten on 66, but they were all out for 166 before lunch.

Australia were then 131-1 second time around, but Tim Southee (4-63) and Neil Wagner (2-40) helped stage a fightback to leave the home side six wickets down, and Taylor believes New Zealand will take heart from their display in the final session.

"There's still a long way to go in this Test match, but I thought the fight that we showed as a team, especially in that last session, bodes well for the rest of the series," Taylor told reporters.

"We're a long way behind the game at the moment, but if we can show the fight that we've shown in the last series, I think it will give the team a lot of confidence coming over here."

Taylor went on to add: "Any time you're going to chase 350, 400 on a wearing wicket, it's going to be tough.

"But at the same time we'll see what Australia do tomorrow and hopefully we can take that [declaration] out of their hands and wrap it up.

"Throughout the last few years, the strength of this side is the fighting spirit. Regardless of what happens, we want to fight and fight right to the end.

"It's a strange game, cricket, and the way Australia bowled at us in the first innings - they bowled fantastically well. But it's a time for us to step up as a batting unit and show what we can do. Not only showing what we can do but getting our confidence up as well."

When New Zealand bat again, they will do so knowing Australia are a bowler light after it was confirmed Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the Test due to a hamstring injury.

That did not seem to bother Australia first time around, though, and opener Joe Burns is keen for the hosts not to give their opponents a chance of a recovery on day four.

"Good position to be in," Burns said. "Obviously it's still going to be tough, being a bowler down, but we're really happy with where we're at.

"A little bit disappointing to lose a few wickets tonight but in the grand scheme of the game, we're in a good position, in control of the game. Come out tomorrow, start well and keep driving it home."

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.