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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Trevor Bayliss expects England to have to face Ross Taylor in ODI series decider against New Zealand

The sides are level at 2-2 ahead of Saturday's final game, with Taylor a doubt for the home side with a thigh injury.

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor under goes a fitness test ahead of the fifth and final ODI against England on Saturday. Stu Forster / Getty Images
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor under goes a fitness test ahead of the fifth and final ODI against England on Saturday. Stu Forster / Getty Images

Trevor Bayliss expects Ross Taylor to be fit to face England - and is hoping New Zealand's resident match-winner does not get injured again in this weekend's one-day international (ODI) series decider.

The hosts are set to make a late decision on whether Taylor will be fit after aggravating his thigh injury during his brilliant, career-best 181 not out in Dunedin two days ago.

He hurt himself shortly after reaching his hundred in a terrific run chase as the Kiwis knocked off 335 for nine with three balls and five wickets to spare, to level the series at 2-2.

Taylor's running between the wickets became severely restricted, but he responded with ever more towering big hits in a memorable victory.

England coach Bayliss has little doubt he will be back for Saturday's showdown at the Hagley Oval.

"Definitely - that's what we're planning on," he said. "If he didn't happen to play that would be a surprise."

Taylor, who also hit a match-winning hundred in the series opener in his home town Hamilton, then had to miss the third match in Wellington before returning at the University Oval.

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"Let's hope he doesn't get an injury, because he plays pretty well when he gets injured... " added Bayliss, with a smile.

He was coy, though, when asked if England have worked out any new plans to try to keep Taylor quiet.

"It's one of the things we're going to chat about today at practice.

"I don't want to give him any head-starts ... he certainly doesn't need it."

England are on the brink of a sixth successive ODI series victory - a commanding statistic but one which had passed Bayliss by until his pre-match press conference.

"I never knew it would be the sixth in a row," said the Australian, anxious nonetheless to see his team prove their mettle in a pressure situation to build confidence for next year's home World Cup.

"These one-off matches, where it counts, it will be a good test for our guys - heading into that World Cup," he added.

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