Ross Taylor, a New Zealand middle-order batsman has stated that he might have retired from international cricket if his side had won the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Two years after the heartbreaking disappointment at Lord’s, New Zealand is set to play India in another ICC tournament summit clash. The inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final, beginning at Southampton on Friday, will be New Zealand’s third final at a world event in six years.
Ross Taylor Admits It Was Disappointing To Lose 2019 World Cup Final
After losing the 2015 World Cup final against Australia, New Zealand beat India in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup to set up a grand finale date with hosts England.
The final ended in a tie, following which the teams tussled in a Super Over which also ended in a stalemate. England was eventually crowned 2019 World Cup champions on the pre-decided “boundary count” rule which was scrapped later.
“It was disappointing to have lost that match at Lord’s a couple of years ago. I guess, when you lose, you feel that it might be the last time you are playing a World Cup final, so it is nice for me to be here.
“If we did win that game, I might have retired after that. I am glad I did not, and I am here today,” said Ross Taylor during a virtual press conference.
In a career spanning over a decade-and-a-half, Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s most-capped cricketer with 442 international matches across all formats. The 37-year-old is also his country’s leading run-scorer in international cricket and is just four runs shy of recording 18,000 international runs.
Ross Taylor Looking Forward To The Challenge Of Meeting Fantastic Side India In The WTC Final
Ross Taylor called India a “fantastic side” as he praised the Kiwis’ WTC final opponent, and hailed their win in Australia last season which was great to watch. The Kiwi batsman believes the Indian side has all the necessary ingredients to excel in the WTC final.
“India has been a fantastic side for a long period of time — not only their batters but also their bowlers. They won a series against Australia in its home summer, and it was great to watch. It was nice for the New Zealand public to see some world-class bowling against a very good Australian attack.”
Ross Taylor added that India had a fair lot of success in England as well. He also stated that he was sure the Indian bowlers would have enjoyed the swing and the bounce that the Dukes’ ball offers.
“We are looking forward to the challenge. You go through the Indian line-up, and there are just world-class players throughout. Whatever side they decide to go with, it will have world-class players. India has been a world No.1 side for a long time. They will be very tough opposition,” Ross Taylor added.
Even with a second-string side in the absence of injury-hit players, India beat the mighty Australian side at home in the 2020/21 season to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The victory also helped the side earn crucial points in the WTC and boosted their chances of making it to the tournament final. However, India comes into this game having not contested a single Test match since February-March 2021 against England at home.
New Zealand, on the other hand, beat England at Birmingham less than a week ago to win their first series in the country in 22 years. The 1-0 series win also helped them displace India from the No.1 Test spot. Ross Taylor believes the England series has helped them acclimatize to the conditions ahead of the WTC final.
“It was an ideal preparation, having played two Test matches against England in these conditions. Cannot think of anything better,” Ross Taylor further added.
Currently ranked 19th in the latest ICC Test Rankings for batsmen, Ross Taylor will be playing his 108th Test for New Zealand when New Zealand meets India at Southampton. Already New Zealand’s highest run-getter in Test cricket, Ross Taylor is only the fourth Black Caps cricketer after the likes of Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori, and Brendon McCullum to play over 100 Tests for his nation.