Ross Taylor, the right-handed batsman from New Zealand, is known for playing game-changing knocks, has certainly twinned talent with the temperament to taste success in international cricket. Despite being praised for his ability to play power-packed knocks in the shorter forms of the game, Taylor has been able to adapt his game for Tests.
Taylor has stroked a New Zealand record 17 one-day centuries, is one behind the country’s Test best with 16, and with no plans to retire before the 2019 World Cup, he has the New Zealand records for the most runs in both formats firmly in his sights.
But his status as one of New Zealand’s greats does not count as much as team records for Taylor who lists “any time it’s a world tournament” as his cricket priority.
In the 2011 World Cup held in the subcontinent, Taylor, with 324 runs to his name, turned out to be the fulcrum of New Zealand’s batting line-up. Taylor then took over from Daniel Vettori as the captain of New Zealand across all formats. Taylor underwent an eye surgery and missed the ODI series in Australia. However, after rectifying the surfer’s eye, Taylor was back in the side, smashing fifties at will in Test and One-Day cricket; but the big scores kept eluding him.
In 87 years of international cricket since New Zealand played their first Test in 1930, the only tournament they have won was when they beat India in the 2000 Champions Trophy final.
“Beating Australia 3-0 in the Chappell-Hadlee in 2007, the last World Cup (when New Zealand made the final for the first time) was pretty special and making the final of the (2009) Champions Trophy was a highlight,” he said.
Taylor senses this New Zealand side can put the runners-up tag to bed despite being only fourth in the ODI rankings behind South Africa, Australia and India and just ahead of England.
“The players have played together for so long now we know each other so well. Our depth is probably our strength,” he said, comparing the 2017 squad to teams past.
“But we need to start well. We have two hard matches straight up against Australia and England and if we don’t start well the tournament’s over.And if this tournament doesn’t work out then Taylor said his next target was the 2019 World Cup “and after that, we’ll see.”
Taylor is hoping Blackcaps to do well than before as the team has got the potential. The Kiwis lost their first warm-up game against India by 45 runs and they would lock horns with Aussies in the first main game.
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