Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor on Friday became the first player in international cricket to play 100 games across the three formats. On Friday, he donned the New Zealand white for the 100th time in Test cricket as he stepped into the windy Basin Reserve in Wellington for the first Test of the two-game series against India.
Taylor completed 100 T20I appearances back in January during the T20I series against India. And has so far played 231 ODI matches for New Zealand and is already the country's leading run-getter in the format with 8570 runs. In Tests, he became the fourth New Zealand player to play his 100th Test after Stephen Fleming, Bredon McCullum and Daniel Vettori and is already the highest run-getter in the format with 7174 runs.
"Really excited about the occasion. It's not a great sign when you wake up in the morning and there's some rain around. Ian Smith said a few words at an event last night, and it was very nice for the team and the family to experience something they might never do again. I'll need some help drinking (the hundred bottles of wine), but they can be stored for a while. It keeps the tradition from Fleming, Brendon (McCullum) and Dan(iel Vettori) who all played over a hundred Tests each and hopefully we can celebrate this one with a win," said Taylor ahead of the first Test.
Earlier in the morning, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl against India on the green Basin Reserve track.
"We're gonna have a bowl. It's still a bit soft. We've seen in the past that there is often a green tinge. We need to bowl well upfront. (Daryll) Mitchell is the one to miss out on. It's a bit soft on the top. Obviously, Neil has bigger things on his plate. Kyle (Jamieson) has bowled well in the white-ball leg, hopefully, he steps up. The guys have all enjoyed themselves but we have a job in hand and need to be focussed," said Williamson.
"We would have also bowled first. It's a no-brainer on day one, gonna be overcast all day. That said, the pitch looks better than it was two days ago with a lot of the grass taken off. Still need to bat well. Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini and Ravindra Jadeja are the ones missing out. Our bowling attack is more experienced now and it's important to be patient in New Zealand conditions. We have the confidence in recent years about winning away from home," said Indian skipper Virat Kohli.