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June 12, 2019

Ross Taylor

West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, UK

ROSS TAYLOR: Good afternoon.

Q. Ross, a couple of questions. Has the team been finalized for the game? And you're preparing, quite clearly, for a 50-over side game, but what about the contingency for a shortened game? Have you prepared as well?
ROSS TAYLOR: We haven't seen the wicket. We'll have to wait and see tomorrow. Everyone will be prepared to play. There's a full 15 to choose from. I guess we can't look too far ahead, but there are obviously different permutations, different balance of squad if the weather does play a part, whether it's a reduced game or a 50-over game.

Q. Ross, is the tournament playing more into New Zealand's hands with the poor weather and these patches being under wraps, et cetera?
ROSS TAYLOR: I said at the start of the tournament that luck is going to play a part. With the weather, England is a beautiful place, but it's not famous for good weather. In saying that, there's still a long way to go in this tournament. I'm sure there's going to be rained out games that could have freaked us along the way. We found that in Taunton, and there has been times where forecasts have been wrong as well. Hopefully tomorrow is one.

Q. Specifically for me, how have you prepared for the Indian spin in this case with what they've been able to achieve?
ROSS TAYLOR: We've faced India a lot in recent times and had some success against them. Obviously, two world class spinners on their day. I think we've had success at different stages. We'll have to wait and see what the wicket produces tomorrow. Some shorter boundaries, and sometimes that can play in the minds of the spinner, not necessarily -- one might spin a little bit more defensive, but as I said, with all the weather around and so much uncertainty, we'll just have to wait and see. And I'm sure the team that adapts the best will probably get the right result.

Q. Ross, there's been a lot of controversy over the bails. I'm sure you've seen it. Five times in 13 matches, the ball's hit the stumps, and the bails have stayed on. The ICC said we're sticking with them. What do you think about it?
ROSS TAYLOR: I wish the bail stayed on when I got bowled in the last game. It was probably hit a bit harder than the ones that happened recently. They're here to stay, and I think they add a good dimension, a different dimension to cricket. A few batsmen have had a bit of luck in recent times. It is what it is. Just get on with it. I'm sure the bowlers are a little bit disappointed, but I'm sure the batters are very happy at the same time.

Q. And second question, if that's okay. We're still in the early stages of the World Cup, as you've mentioned. You're 3 out of 3. Who else has impressed you so far? Who do you see as the contenders right now?
ROSS TAYLOR: I think it's still early on. The majority, all nine teams are still -- or maybe realistically seven teams still in the hunt. I think it's not only the way the draw works out, you know, if you can get into a bit of a roll towards the end -- first and foremost, you've got to get into the semifinal. Regardless of whether you're the top seed or the fourth seed, you're only a few wins away from lifting that cup.

I could mention five or six teams that I think are playing really well, but at the end of the day, we're 3 for 3. Very happy with where we've placed, but we know we've got some bigger challenges ahead the next couple of weeks.

Q. Ross, just with the variety you've got as far as left hand-right hand combinations throughout the batting lineup, can you just talk us through how much -- if you think that's a strength or an advantage you have when coming off against India, obviously, lost Shikhar Dhawan and now they don't have any left-hand batsmen in that top order. Is that something in contrast that you feel maybe you can exploit somehow tactically?
ROSS TAYLOR: I haven't been in the bowling meetings, but obviously Shikhar is a big loss to India. The presence, he plays very well at ICC tournaments and has a very good record over here. Himself and Rohit Sharma have a very good partnership, and I think they complement each other well because they're right and left-handed. In terms of our lineup, I think we've had a similar balanced side for a long time, and when you do have a right-left hand combination, it does put pressure in different ways on the bowling opposition.

A lot of these grounds in the UK have a short boundary to one side, and if you've got two right handers or two left handers, you can't exploit it as much where obviously having the right and the left hand, and the communication becomes very important to target those short boundaries.

As we see, it's traditionally a short boundary here. If that is the case, then hopefully we can exploit it with the right, left handers, as I'm sure India and other teams that are playing here will try and do.

Q. Ross, you seem in quite a good form at the minute. What do you put that down to?
ROSS TAYLOR: Never get too carried away in this game of cricket. I'm pretty happy. I had a big push for this World Cup. I'm not getting any younger. It's still a long way to go in this tournament. As I said, still got some big games to go. Never get too carried away, but hopefully the confidence and the runs can continue for a bit longer.

Q. You've spent a bit of time at this pitch. What's it like when it's moist in these conditions? Do they favor New Zealand? And second question is you and Kane, have you started out your communications so you don't run each other out or nearly run each other out again?
ROSS TAYLOR: As long as there aren't any nearlys, that's okay. It's not a new thing for Kane. We've been poor for a while. No, I've enjoyed my stint here at Notts. It's a ground -- we had an outstanding summer last year, so there wasn't a lot of rained out games. Traditionally, when you play here at county cricket, you play on either side. You don't normally play on the middle, which is same for international, and obviously it is match cricket.

No, it's a great place to play cricket. Traditionally, it can favor the batters at times, but I'm sure that bowlers will be -- going to have a little bit there. It's been out in the kettles for two or three days and hasn't seen the sun. I'm sure -- we'll have to wait and see what happens, but first and foremost, it's a great place to play cricket, and I'm sure any time we play India in a neutral venue is always going to be more Indian supporters than New Zealand. I'm sure that's something we're looking forward to as well.

Q. Ross, 130 from three matches so far for you. A couple of the guys -- Shakib Al Hasan, David Warner, Jason Roy -- are over 200 for the matches so far. Do you see that as a personal challenge? Can you look at that and think, I want to run those guys down over the course of this tournament?
ROSS TAYLOR: I didn't bat in the first game. It's not a bad thing. I think my position at 4 is to bat in the situation as best as possible. If the openers go well, you play accordingly and vice versa. You try to adapt as quick as possible.

In terms of going out there and getting numbers like that, if you're winning games of cricket and help contribute in any way possible, first and foremost, that's what you want to do. Whatever your stats are at the end of the tournament, if you make the semifinals, finals, win the trophy, they become irrelevant, and that becomes the main focus.

I think, if you talk to most players on the team, it's about contribution, and if you do that, then they've done their job.

Q. Is Southee's injury all good, and is he back in contention?
ROSS TAYLOR: All 15 are in contention. As I said, with the weather around, we don't want to preempt anything, but if there are shortened games and whatnot, that's something the coach and captain will have to decide at the time, but we haven't made a decision on our final 11. Hopefully, the weather plays a part tomorrow.

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