Taylor back where he, team have had success

Ross Taylor plays a shot in the first test against Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty Images
Ross Taylor plays a shot in the first test against Sri Lanka. Photo: Getty Images
Been there. Done that.

Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor could well be feeling a sense of deja vu this week.

The last time the prolific right-hander was preparing for a test against Sri Lanka in Colombo, his side was trailing 1-0.

The Black Caps had been well-beaten in Galle and needed to lift their game in the series finale.

Somebody scream ''snap'' because fast-forward seven years from then and the 35-year-old finds himself in a very familiar situation.

Hopefully, there is no captaincy coup happening in the background this time.

Taylor was replaced as captain following the Black Caps' 167-run win against Sri Lanka in 2012.

He knew his fate before the game and went out and played a tremendous match.

He scored 142 and 74 to help set up the victory.

That part of the story is a happy memory for Taylor. And as the Black Caps prepared for today's second test against Sri Lanka, Taylor said it was nice to be back at a ground where both he and the team had enjoyed success.

''It is always nice to come back to a ground you've had some success.

But at the same time it is a different game and a different set of circumstances,'' Taylor said.

The only scab Taylor was picking at was the one slowly healing from the six-wicket loss in Galle last week.

The Black Caps had their moments in the match. But ultimately a 161-run opening stand from Sri Lanka in the fourth innings proved decisive.

''If you told us at the start of the game that we'd have a 260[ish]-run lead I think we definitely would have taken that.

''But the way their openers batted in that second innings took the game away from us and we were playing catch-up from there.

''It is disappointing to start the test championship like that and obviously the series. But P Sara is a ground that we have had some success on in the past and hopefully we can replicate that from a few years ago.''

Taylor took an aggressive game plan into the first test and looked to attack the left-arm spin of youngster Lasith Embuldeniya. His 86 in the first innings was of high quality but he was undone in the second innings for just three.

He charged the 22-year-old and got an edge through to first slip. Despite getting out at an inopportune time, Taylor does not regret the tactic.

''That was my game plan but we will have to wait and see what the wicket is like here and play accordingly.''

''We tried everything but just weren't good enough. But it is a new game and we've been in this situation many times before.

''We've been 1-0 down and come back and played strong. That is all we can ask for ... and show that fighting spirit that this team is renowned for.''

The Black Caps may ponder a couple of changes. Leg-spinner Todd Astle could come in for left-arm slow bowler Mitchell Santner, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme could replace Tim Southee.

Southee bowled only 19 overs in the game, so the slot allocated for the second seamer may be better spent strengthening the middle order.

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