Sun, Dec 11, 2016 | updated 05:50 AM IST

Kane Williamson backs Ross Taylor to hit back in Pakistan series

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 11:01 IST

Wellington [New Zealand], Nov. 16 (ANI): New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has backed out of form batsman Ross Taylor to bounce back and come out with a startling performance in the first Test against Pakistan which starts in Christchurch on Thursday.

Taylor was out of sorts in the recent concluded Test series against India and South Africa, which New Zealand went on lose 0-3 and 0-1 respectively.

The former Kiwi skipper hasn't scored more than 44 runs in any of his past 14 (nine test and five ODI) innings.

However, Williamson said Taylor has been "working hard" on his game in the lead up to the two-match series.

"He knows the conditions well, he's scored a lot of runs at home, so he will be looking to apply himself as best he can and hopefully make a great contribution tomorrow," the Black Caps skipper was quoted by stuff.co.nz.

The 32-year-old batsman has scored 456 Test runs at an average of 57 this year, only 364 of those runs came against Zimbabwe.

Against other opposition, he has not scored a half-century since the 290 at Perth, over a year ago.

With the weather people forecasting rain for Thursday, the 26-year-old batsman said they would not finalise the playing XI until they get a last look at the Hagley pitch. However, he did confirm that Jeet Raval will make his debut and open the batting with Tom Latham.

New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jimmy Neesham, Jeet Raval, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Pakistan Squad: Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan. (ANI)