Senior New Zealand campaigner Ross Taylor has expressed excitement over the return of international cricket at McLean Park in Napier. Taylor who is representing Central Districts believes the enhanced ground looks in good shape. With the return of International cricket in Napier on January 23, between Kane Williamson-led Kiwis and Virat Kohli’s India, it’s expected to be a cracker of a 50-over contest.
“They’ve had a few dramas, but it looks like the ground and the venue is in good nick,” Taylor was quoted as saying by Stuff News.
Cricket returns to Taylor’s home ground:
Moreover, with top-flight cricket returning to the Central Districts’ home base after two years, Taylor is hopeful to see his side cashing in on the opportunity on a ‘hard surface’.
“They said it would be a little bit harder than it was the other day. But it’s always a nice ground to come and play at, and you still have to sum up conditions,” Taylor added.
Pertinently, the venue lost the international status in February 2017 for not meeting the required standards.
Besides, the renovation of the 22-yard surface has also left the hosts in a dilemma. The last time, One-day International match was played between the host’s Black Caps and visitors Australia on February 2 2017.
Also, South Africa’s fixture was shifted to Seddon Park in Hamilton that time around. However, the second match of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy was called off due to the damp outfield.
Support for both the teams: Taylor
The prominent Kiwis batsman Taylor has termed Team India as the ‘powerhouse’. He feels it would be equal support for both the top-notch teams. Recently, India has thrashed Australia in Australia by 2-1 in the three-match ODI series.
“Any time India come here, they’re a powerhouse. The NZ-Indian community come out and support them. And quite often, there are just as many Indians in the crowd as Kiwis,” Taylor added.
Taylor has home support:
Taylor reiterated it’s always fascinating to perform before the jam-packed stadium. He further added when other countries travel the New Zealand shores it eventually sees them backing the hosts.
“In some situations, there are more. It’s great to play in front of a packed house and many of those supporters back New Zealand, when India aren’t in the country,” Taylor maintained.
Moreover, during the off-time, the city commission chalked out plans—to upgrade the venue mainly the focus was set on the drainage system.
The venue has hosted Super Smash 2018-19 fixtures to give an idea to the teams how the pitch behaves.
“I haven’t been here for a while. I watched the game on TV the other night, which I think was the second time they’d played on it,” Taylor concluded.
Apart from how things prevail, Taylor feels 300-plus would give the side a chance to work it out in their favour.
Earlier, the stadium can host as many as 10,500 spectators. It was established way back in 1952.
Owing to the limited-overs series, India will take on hosts in five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals.