Home > Features >

India tour of New Zealand 2014: Ross Taylor needs support from others

Ross Taylor is New Zealand's best batsman and will lead their charge against India © Getty Images
Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s best batsman and will lead their charge against India © Getty Images

By Bharath Ramaraj

Historically, the rugby-mad New Zealand has struggled to produce world-class batsmen. The likes of John Reid, Martin Donnelly, Charles Dempster, Glenn Turner, Andrew Jones and more so, Martin Crowe shone brightly from time to time. But each time, they have produced a truly world class batsman, it has been more like an oasis in desert. In recent times too, it has been the same old story with a couple of batsmen holding forte against opposition attacks licking their lips in anticipation of bowling to New Zealand batsmen.

However in Ross Taylor, they have one batsman who has raised the bar for current set of New Zealand cricketers to follow in his footsteps. He was in glorious touch against the West Indies and now to his credit, has the third highest average in the history of New Zealand. He essayed centuries in three consecutive Tests against the West Indies. The bowlers on the other side of the fence must have scratched their heads in disbelief. Here is one cricketer whose graph is showing a continuous upward sporting curve.

Taylor had his fair share of problems when Mike Hesson, the present New Zealand coach who unceremoniously sacked him as the captain of the side. But Taylor bounced back with that extra zeal and vigour — a sign of a fine sportsman who never gives up. He isn’t your quintessential batsman with the MCC coaching manual textbook technique. But just like any other prolific batsman, he keeps his head still and watches the ball all the way through. So, he continues to surprise his detractors by essaying strokes over the mid wicket region.

Other than him, the present captain, Brendon McCullum has that ability to dash and bash his way to success.  When you play with gambling instincts, you’re bound to gift your wicket away a few times. But McCullum, especially in the shorter versions of the game, has taken New Zealand to what seemed like improbable wins. Even in Test cricket, he has come to their rescue during times of crisis. It certainly happened in the series against England played at home last year when he proved to be thorn in the opposition’s flesh.

Kane Williamson was earmarked for success even during his Under-19 days. He is one of those few modern day batsmen who is strong on the back-foot and can wow the purists with his punches. But he has struggled for consistency. Williamson has that habit of getting to 20s and 30s and losing the plot. Martin Guptill can play eye-catching strokes and last year was in exceptional touch in the ODI format.  His knock of 189 against England at Southampton turned out to be the highest individual score by a New Zealand batsman in ODIs.

BJ Watling bats with poise and calm head on his shoulders, but has found it rather tough to break into the New Zealand ODI and T20 squads.  Hamish Rutherford, started his Test career with a bang by compiling a century o his debut. Dean Brownlie, when everyone was falling around him like nine pins, played like a pillar of strength by amassing a hundred at Cape Town against South Africa. But since then has fallen away. Corey Anderson himself can turn into a fine all-rounder in the years to come.  But it has to be said that even in the past, there have been batsmen who have shown promise, but in the end, it has turned into a false dawn of hope.

As New Zealand take on a young and energetic Indian side brimming with confidence, they need not only Taylor to fire on all cylinders, but others too have to stand up and come to the party.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia Zimbabwe vs Australia 2014

Wahab Riaz’s daughter critical, needs O positive blood

India tour of England 2014: Geoffrey Boycott calls for Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Joe Root to be axed from ODI side

Robin Uthappa eying the Indian opening slot

Alastair Cook should accept ‘constructive’ criticism, says Geoffrey Boycott

Imran Khan’s protests in Pakistan get Javed Miandad’s support

Archie MacLaren’s amateurs fell Warwick Armstrong’s mighty Australians in one of cricket’s greatest fairytales

David Bairstow: A champion claimed by depression

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Will Naitik and Akshara receive a legal notice from their clients?

India 4th most affected by mobile malwares: F-Secure

Save MAMI campaign raises Rs.1.5 crore with social media help

Top 6 monsoon dressing tips for dummies

MTS to offer free movies to its subscribers

Exercise challenge – The HandStand Push-up

From roads to high court – dog bites take a toll

Amitabh Bachchan reaches milestone with 10 million followers on Twitter!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here