Home > Features > Moments in history >

Ross Taylor — Leading from the front for New Zealand

Ross Taylor — leading from the front

Ross Taylor is known for his aggressive intent and ability to carry the team alone on his shoulders © Getty Images

Ross Taylor, born on March 8, 1984, is probably New Zealand’s best player in the current line-up. Prakash Govindasreenivasan dwells into the career of the exciting Kiwi batsman.

The glorious days of New Zealand cricket are a thing of the past. It was way back in the 1980s when the likes of Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee were big names in world cricket and earned their country much respect on the field of play.

The likes of Stephen Fleming and jack of all trades Daniel Vettori have been leaders in the true sense of the word, but they lacked quality support from team mates on a consistent basis. Ross Taylor has imbibed a lot of qualities from Vettori since taking over from him in all formats of the game in June, 2011. In the 13 Tests that he captained, the Kiwis registered unexpected victories in Australia and Sri Lanka.

Taylor was born in Lower Hutt, Wellington, and went on to become the second male cricketer of Samoan descent — after Murphy Su’a — to represent New Zealand at the highest level. In his fourth season in 2005-06 for Central Districts, Taylor notched up three centuries to attract the attention of the national selectors. Just months later, he was in Napier, playing alongside the likes of Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Scott Styris.

Taylor’s first act of brilliance came in only his third One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka at Napier in 2006. Taylor walked in at No 3 and put on a 151-run stand with the experienced Nathan Astle for the third wicket. Taylor scored 128 off 133 deliveries, an innings that was laced with 12 fours and four sixes.

The best of Ross Taylor

Taylor is known for his aggressive intent and ability to carry the team alone on his shoulders — both of which he showed in two recent matches. A couple of years ago on this day, he celebrated his 27th birthday with a freakish knock in the 2011 World Cup. Taylor smashed 131 off just 124 deliveries, with the last 55 runs coming from just 13 deliveries. He sent spectators at the Pallekele International Stadium into delirium as the Kiwis amassed 127 runs in the last nine overs.

Taylor then played one of the most memorable knocks of 2012. At a time when the Kiwi batsmen were having nightmares of Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath running through the batting line-up, Taylor stood tall and played a gritty innings to setup a phenomenal Test victory for his team in Sri Lanka.

After his team succumbed to a 10-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the first Test, Taylor led from the front in the second Test and scored 142 to help post a good total in the first innings. His partnership of 262 with youngster Kane Williamson for the third wicket was one of the best in hostile conditions. He followed up his century with an important contribution of 74 to set a target of 362 for the home side which they failed to overcome.

The controversy with New Zealand Cricket

Despite a few match-turning knocks, New Zealand was going through a tough phase with humiliation in Australia and annihilation in India. With results not going their way, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief Mike Hesson allegedly asked him to step down from captaincy in the limited-overs format and went on record saying there is need for change in captain in all forms of the game. The miscommunication eventually led Taylor to give up captaincy and opt out of the South African tour. A lot of ex-Kiwi cricketers slammed the board for the way they handled Taylor and the captaincy issue. The pressure was mounting on the board and they issued a public apology to Taylor for the way his captaincy issue was handled. He accepted the apology and returned to the fray in the home series against England.

Taylor, who turned 29 today, still has a lot of cricket left in him. Having moved on after the captaincy saga, Taylor, along with current skipper Brendon McCullum, will be expected to shoulder the responsibility of doing well in all formats of the game. Taylor may not end up as one of New Zealand’s greats, but his impact on the current side that has a lot of youngsters can go a long way to help New Zealand cricket grow.

(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (12:30 IST)   at Bulawayo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014  at Galle

South Africa won by 153 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 1 Live Cricket Score: Sri Lanka cross 300

India’s wins in England — from 1971 to 2014

India’s win over England in 2nd Test at Lord’s: Twitter reactions

Ishant Sharma pummels England into submission as India clinch Lord’s Test by 95 runs

Ishant Sharma registers name at Lord’s honours board, takes 6 wickets in 2nd Test against England

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Shoaib Malik and Tino Best have an altercation during CPL 2014 match

Mahela Jayawardene ton takes Sri Lanka to 305/5 on Day 1 of 2nd Test against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma advises him not to play square of wicket

Afghanistan set target of 260 against Zimbabwe in 4th ODI at Bulawayo

India A tour of Australia 2014: Manan Vohra, Mohit Sharma give India A easy win

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Swatch denies Apple iWatch rumors

Uber app for Windows Phone launched

Kevin Spacey offered donation to turn vegetarian

Salman Khan: It was great fun to dance with Shivaji Satam – view pics!

Why obese workers get tired sooner

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Rick Roy: I didn’t particularly like Priyanka Chopra’s styling in Mary Kom

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma advises him not to play square of wicket

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here