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Patel backs Black Caps to overcome injury blows

New Zealand have seen Ross Taylor and Trent Boult suffer injuries in Dunedin, but Jeetan Patel remains optimistic.

Jeetan Patel - cropped
New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel

Jeetan Patel believes New Zealand can "find a way" to win the first Test against South Africa, despite another injury setback for the Black Caps on the fourth day in Dunedin.

Ross Taylor suffered a low-grade calf tear during the second day's play and New Zealand were shorn of a key member of their bowling attack on Saturday as Trent Boult was hampered by an upper leg problem.

The hosts nevertheless retain a chance of victory, after limiting South Africa to 224-6 - a lead of 191 - ahead of a final day that could be affected by rain.

Discussing the "big losses" of Taylor and Boult, Patel said in a news conference: "They are, but that's why I say these guys are an amazing bunch. They find a way.

"Wag's [Neil Wagner's] last spell was just as potent as his first. Maybe not so much with the pace or the [speed] on the screen but with the questions that he asked. Myself, Mitch Santner, Jimmy Neesham, we've all got roles to play and that's where we just pick up the slack.

"Missing Ross is huge. We all know that, the whole of New Zealand knows that. Missing Boult is huge. We've just got to find a way to get over the line and that's all that matters."

A draw appears the most likely outcome at University Oval, but Patel, who has second-innings figures of 2-72 from 36 overs, added: "You never know what's going to happen tomorrow [Sunday] with the rain. It may come and it may not."

"We rock up tomorrow with a fresh attitude of how we are going to go about things. We might rock and roll them, we might not. We may take three hours to bowl them out but it leaves an opportunity to win a Test match and the excitement of that is massive."

 

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