Taylor: Pressure is on Black Caps now
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor found himself on the wrong end of a Zimbabwe batting onslaught on Sunday, and says all the pressure is now on the Black Caps after going down in the ODI series.
New Zealand scored a challenging 303 for four, with Taylor bagging a century, and it should have been enough. But a Craig Ervine century is a big half ton from Hamilton Masakadza saw the hosts chase it down by seven wickets in Harare, against most expectations.
There are two games left in the series, one the Kiwis would have been expected to whitewash, and Taylor says they have to make sure they do everything right on Tuesday and Friday to avoid blushes.
Taylor said after the defeat: "Any time you go 1-0 down in a three-match series you are under pressure and Zimbabwe play very well at home.
"But we will analyse it and come back better in a couple of days' time. It's only one game but we have to win the next two to win the series. Tuesday becomes a very important match."
He added that they were confident of defending the total, and were somewhat shell-shocked that they couldn't: "We were very happy with 300 – we thought it was probably a 270-280 wicket so we thought we were probably 20 ahead.
"But the way Chibhabha and Hamilton came out and got them off to a good start, it was always going to be tough to peg them back. If we were able to pick up wickets through the middle, we would have given ourselves a chance but we weren't able to do that.
"The way Ervine batted as well as Masakadza, they batted outstandingly well and took the game away from us. To get there with an over to spare was a very good effort.
"The way they manipulated the right-left combination and being able to put our spinners under pressure throughout the whole match played a big part. We will be better for the hit-out.
"We were a bit down on our fielding. We pride ourselves on our fielding and we let a few things through that we would normally stop on a good day."
England news: Injury-hit Jofra Archer back for first time in nearly a year
Archer is still some way off a return after heading to his native Barbados following a second operation on a longstanding elbow complaint last month.
South Africa vs India: Quinton de Kock will be welcomed ‘with open arms’
Quinton de Kock will be welcomed with open arms in the South Africa squad to face India in a limited-overs series.
Nat Sciver: England ‘a bit more calm’ now after ‘tricky’ start to Australia tour
The multi-format Women’s Ashes series is set to get under way on Thursday with the first of three T20 internationals.
David Payne feels England T20 call-up provides opportunity to realise Test dream
The tall left-armer is still awaiting his first international cap and turns 31 next month.
Here’s who should be in the England XI for the first Ashes Test of 2023
Following the latest Ashes humiliation, Matt Whiley selects an England Test team that we can finally be proud of.
Australia tour to Pakistan: Pace attack could be boosted
Australia are likely to include a raft of pace bowlers in their squad for the scheduled tour to Pakistan in March.
South Africa vs India: Keegan Petersen still coming to terms with stardom
New South Africa batting star Keegan Petersen has not quite gotten his head around his newfound fame.
Ashes reaction: Kevin Pietersen backs Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has backed current captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood to remain in charge of the team.
England Test team: ECB investigating after police called to Ashes drinks following Hobart Test
Players and staff from both the Australian and English teams were at the event.
Rassie van der Dussen relished India banter in tough Test series
The series between South Africa and India rode on a knife-edge.