Ross Taylor won't be risked for the Black Caps' ODI series decider against England if it jeopardises his chances of playing in the subsequent Test matches, Kiwi coach Mike Hesson says.
Taylor aggravated a thigh issue as he thumped his way to an unbeaten 181 in Wednesday's fourth ODI in Dunedin, helping the Caps to a five-wicket triumph.
Play was halted on several occasions for the 34-year-old to seek treatment, and he struggled to run between wickets by the end of his career-best knock.
Nevertheless, England's bowlers - pace and spin - had no answer for his clean hitting as the Kiwis reached their 336 target with three balls left.
Taylor said post-match he'd give himself a few days to recuperate before Saturday's decisive game in Christchurch.
Hesson echoed those sentiments on Thursday but told reporters that Taylor's presence in the two upcoming Tests against England - in Auckland and Christchurch - would be prioritised over his participation on Saturday.
No decision would be made before the end of Friday's training session.
"He'll see the physio and work through that," Hesson said.
"He just needs time to get rid of some of those aches and pains.
"It just depends whether it's one of those injuries that gets worse through playing and, if it is, with a Test series around the corner, it's not something you'd risk, if it was an injury where you could potentially be out for months."
Hesson said that Taylor's 147-ball knock, secured after entering the crease at 2-2 and fighting through the pain barrier, was one of the great ODI innings.
The innings' context made it all the more outstanding.
Hesson also admitted he and captain Kane Williamson were tempted to withdraw the crocked Taylor, but decided to let him soldier on.
"He's got some very, very good hundreds for us but that was a great hundred and, in any side in the world, that'd be considered a great innings," Hesson said.
Taylor has hit 19 ODI and 17 Test centuries for New Zealand.
He said on Wednesday that he always believed the side could triumph.
"You can't win the game in the first 10 overs," Taylor said.
"You've just got to give yourself a chance - on New Zealand grounds, you can catch up at the end on small boundaries."