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Taylor rejoins NZ team for England series
06:47 AEST Fri Feb 8 2013

Bitterness created by the sacking of former captain Ross Taylor seems likely to follow the New Zealand cricket team into their demanding home series against England beginning on Saturday.

Taylor rejoined the New Zealand team in Auckland on Thursday as they prepare for the first of three Twenty20 internationals against England, followed by three one-dayers and three Test matches.

While he sought to be diplomatic, Taylor's first comments to reporters suggested many of the issues created by his sacking late last year remain unresolved and that the Black Caps might be divided as they face a testing series.

Taylor described his continuing relationship with coach Mike Hesson, who sacked him in Sri Lanka last year, as "a work in progress". He suggested his relationship with new captain Brendon McCullum was less fraught, but Taylor also hinted at a fractured and factionalised team.

Taylor refused to play on the recent tour of South Africa where they were beaten by an innings in each of two Tests - including a first-innings score of only 45 at Cape Town.

England are heavily favoured to win the T20, one-day and Test series, even without and Taylor's inadvertent depiction of an unharmonious New Zealand team.

When Hesson sacked Taylor four days out from the second Test in Sri Lanka, the coach hinted at a national team which had lost faith in their captain.

On Thursday, while Taylor was ambiguous about his relationship with Hesson, he said "I've got friends in the team and I'm looking forward to playing for them, and obviously playing for management and the country as well."

He chatted with McCullum during training on Thursday but the interaction seemed formal, rather than relaxed.

"Have we had a beer? No, I met Brendon this morning so I'm sure we'll go and meet up over the next couple of days somewhere," Taylor said. "I don't think there was anything wrong with our relationship in the first place."

Taylor said he felt no animosity from his teammates after his loss of the captaincy and his decision to bypass the South African tour.

"I can't speak for anyone else. I can only see what I see myself but I haven't seen anything untoward towards myself," he said.

Taylor said although he was no longer captain, he would continue to express his opinion on the field as a senior player.


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