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 Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Live Updates: IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal hearing in Supreme Court: BCCI is killing the game, says Supreme Court

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Australia vs South Africa 2014: AB de Villiers blames over-thinking for loss

Harbhajan Singh did fantastic job in correcting his action: Dave Richardson

Lalit Modi reveals he financed petitions against N Srinivasan and others

UAE, Afghanistan to face-off in four-match ODI series in Dubai

Supreme Court to N Srinivasan: Do not presume that you have a clean-chit

IPL 2013 spot-fixing controversy: N Srinivasan increasingly cornered by Supreme Court’s observations

India vs Australia 2014: Are India as bad overseas as they are made out to be?

Cricket Australia’s marketing gimmick strips umpires of their independence

Australia’s top form in ODIs: Early warning for teams heading to ICC World Cup 2015

Myth Busting — did Sachin Tendulkar’s rate of scoring become slower in the second half of his career?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here