Ross Taylor:- REUTERS/Ross Setford (image sourced from Otago Daily Times
Ross Taylor:- REUTERS/Ross Setford (image sourced from Otago Daily Times

Ross Taylor, a former New Zealand batter opened up on the chances of his team New Zealand and India at the upcoming 2022 T20I World Cup, the form of Virat Kohli, the impact of Rahul Dravid as a coach, and much more.

Former New Zealand batter Ross Taylor is one of the modern-day greats and the star Kiwi player is currently in India to play Legends League Cricket 2022. 2022 has been a significant year for him as he first bid farewell to international cricket and then he came up with his autobiography — Ross Taylor: Black And White.  The batter is playing for India Capitals in Legends League Cricket.

Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor. Image: ICC

Ross Taylor Reckons Virat Kohli Peaking At The Right Time After His 71st Ton In Asia Cup 2022 After A Gap Of 3 Years

In his autobiography, Ross Taylor revealed the experience of going to Ranthambore Forest to see a tiger along with Rahul Dravid when they were sharing the dressing room for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

It was there where he came up with the line: “there are almost 4,000 wild tigers but there is only one Rahul Dravid,” so it is no surprise that Ross Taylor had only good things to say about Rahul Dravid, who is now the head coach of Team India.

“Rahul Dravid is one of the nicest men I have met in cricket. I think in terms of Indian cricket, they are in very safe hands with Rahul Dravid,” said Ross Taylor.

“When you have played 450 games for your country, there are stories to tell. I got approached to do it a long time ago, I really enjoyed it. In Black and White, I played for New Zealand in black and white. I come from a mixed background,” he stated further on his autobiography.

Virat Kohli // Getty
Virat Kohli // Getty

Virat Kohli broke his century drought this year as he scored a ton against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup 2022, which was played in the T20I format. Before this, Virat Kohli had last registered the three-figure mark in November 2019. Ross Taylor believes that Virat Kohli is peaking at the right time ahead of the 2022 T20I World Cup.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing with Virat Kohli at RCB and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching his career as well,” said Ross Taylor.

“Him coming back into form is no surprise to me, it was just a matter of when he scored that ton. He is in great form at the moment and he is peaking at the right time ahead of the World Cup. I think he looks like he is in a good space, he is going to score a lot of hundreds in the coming years, I hope,” he added.

Virat Kohli’s 122* off 61 balls against Afghanistan was also the highest-ever individual score in T20I cricket by an Indian.

When asked about he sees New Zealand performing at the T20 World Cup set to be played in Australia, the 38-year-old said: “I think, everyone will talk about other nations and New Zealand just seem to make the semi-finals or the final. They have made it to the last four in the last few ICC tournaments, but still, experts don’t put New Zealand in there. The tournament in Australia would be totally different from UAE. The UAE was very toss dominated, most teams that won the toss won the game.”

“I think there would be a lot more skill involved in this World Cup. I think Australia being the home nation and defending champions, must go in as favourites. I think it is a pretty open World Cup, New Zealand will rely heavily on the top-order and our opening bowlers.

“India, the balance of their side is one of the best going around and the way they are playing at home in the last few games, would give them a lot of confidence heading into the World Cup,” he added.

Ross Taylor, who has played for New Zealand in six T20I World Cups, believed that Australia would enter the next tournament as the clear favourite. He added that the toss will not be as important as it did in the UAE edition from the previous year.

Last year, the Black Caps advanced to the 2021 T20I World Cup final, but they fell to Australia, who won the inaugural T20 championship. The Men in Yellow defeated 173 to win the championship game by eight wickets.

Ross Taylor Not In Terms Of More New Zealand Players Giving Up Central Contracts

Ross Taylor while signing off also spoke about what he expects from Legends League, and he also gave his take on three New Zealand players — Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, and Jimmy Neesham opting out of central contracts to play domestic leagues.

Notably, Colin de Grandhomme decided to retire from international cricket while the other two have opted out of the central New Zealand contracts list.

“I hope not in terms of more New Zealand players giving up central contracts. I hope international cricket is still a high priority. Each player has a different reason for making different decisions,” said Ross Taylor.

 Jimmy Neesham has declined NZ central contract. (Reuters Photo)
Jimmy Neesham has declined NZ central contract. (Reuters Photo)

Talking about Legends League, Taylor said: “Just good to be playing cricket again. But also, to play with players I have played a lot against. Gautam Gambhir, Mitchell Johnson, and Dinesh Ramdin, to share the dressing room with them and see how they go about things, is something I am looking forward to.”

New Zealand will play a T20 tri-series against Pakistan and Bangladesh starting on October 7 in Christchurch. The tri-series will be the last series at home before they depart for Australia on October 15.

New Zealand squad for T20I World Cup and tri-series: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.