WELLINGTON: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hopes to return to international cricket after an extended layoff because of a back injury in the last match of a three-match limited-overs international series against Pakistan starting Monday.
Leading batsman Ross Taylor has been ruled out of the series with a side strain sustained during New Zealand's 95-run win over Pakistan in the third Twenty20 international Friday. Taylor faced only four balls during New Zealand's innings before retiring hurt.
Taylor now faces a recovery period to be fit for New Zealand's first test against Australia next month.
Henry Nicholls retains his place in the squad in Taylor's absence and opening batsman Tom Latham has been named for the first two matches before making way for McCullum's return in the third match at Auckland on Jan. 31.