Taylor in line for England games

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England are set to face deposed New Zealand captain Ross Taylor as they prepare for the multi-format series with the Black Caps.

The 28-year-old has not played for his country since being controversially replaced as skipper by Brendon McCullum in December, following the tour of Sri Lanka.

Taylor has been named in the squad for a New Zealand XI to play England in two Twenty20 games on February 4 and 6 in Whangarei before the tour begins in earnest. England and New Zealand will contest three matches each in the T20, one-day international and Test formats.

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor's potential return to the New Zealand side has moved a step closer after his inclusion in a squad for a representative XI

National selection manager Kim Littlejohn said: "Obviously it's great to have Ross back in the mix and really we're excited about seeing him play again.

"He's a proven world-class batsman and this will provide him with a great chance to get some cricket under his belt following his break.”

Luke Ronchi is another notable inclusion. The New Zealand-born wicketkeeper has played international cricket for Australia but has now completed a four-year residency period to allow him to represent the country of his birth.

"We're pleased to have Luke Ronchi available as well and after a great HRV Cup we look forward to watching him continue to make an impact," Littlejohn said.

"It's a very strong New Zealand XI and we expect them to be competitive opponents.

"We're confident all of the players in the squad will relish the chance to play against England, with the matches a great opportunity for them to push for higher honours."

New Zealand XI squad: Andrew Ellis (capt), Anton Devcich, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Ian Butler, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wk), Matthew Henry, Michael Bates, Neil Broom, Neil Wagner, Nick Beard, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham.

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