Ross Taylor is confident he will be back to full fitness by the start of the World Twenty20 in India after making his comeback from injury in the Island of Origin clash in Wellington.
Taylor scored an unbeaten 26 off 16 balls as he helped the North Island close out a comfortable six-wicket T20 victory over the South Island at the Basin Reserve on Sunday.
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It was the former Black Caps skipper's first spell at the crease since he suffered a side strain five weeks earlier while batting against Pakistan in a one-dayer across town at Westpac Stadium.
The 31-year-old right-hander didn't shy away from playing his cut and pull shots and hit three boundaries.
"It was good to get through that, but I'm confident it will get a lot better come the next couple of weeks," he said.
Taylor said he felt a bit stiff, but had been told that would ease over time.
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"The physios tell me that it's good to stretch it out and over time it will loosen off," he said. "I'm sure by the time we play our first game, it's going to be 100 per cent."
New Zealand's opening World T20 match is against India in Nagpur on March 16 (AEST).
Before then, they have warm-up fixtures against Sri Lanka and England in Mumbai on March 11 and 13 respectively.
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The Origin fixture was a chance for the Black Caps' World T20 squad to have a final hit-out before flying out and Taylor, as North Island captain, was among nine of the 15 to take part.
Another in the tour party, leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, tuned up with a man-of-the-match performance for the North.
Sodhi took 4-24 in breezy conditions as the South, having chosen to bat first, were dismissed for 126.
"I thought he bowled outstandingly well," Taylor said.
"It wasn't the easiest wind for him. He was probably the best bowler equipped to deal with that.
"Quite often when you bowl a spinner inside the last four overs, it's quite daunting and I thought he handled himself very well."