Ross Taylor is playing for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014 © Getty Images
Ross Taylor is one of the most dangerous batsmen in T20 cricket. Currently, he is playing for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel at the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. In a chat with Nishad Pai Vaidya, Taylor spoke about playing different tournaments around the globe, the CPL, progress New Zealand has made in recent times and a lot more.
Ross Taylor is playing for the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. Taylor has now played T20 cricket around the world and has built a reputation as one of the most dangerous hitters of the cricket ball. As a batsman, he has now expanded his range of strokes and has moved past the stereotype of being a batsman who predominantly favoured the leg-side. He is also a part of a New Zealand side that is on the rise and is targeting higher honours in the years to come.
In a conversation with CricketCountry, Taylor spoke about his experience at the CPL, sharing dressing rooms with different players across the world, the progress New Zealand cricket has made in recent times and a lot more.
CricketCountry (CC): What would you say about your Caribbean Premier League (CPL) experience?
Ross Taylor (RT): It has been great. It is nice to come back to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, whom I am quite familiar with. We had a lot of potential and didn’t play as well as we should last year. It is good to come here and play some cricket like we should.
CC: There have been some very good games, especially the one against Guyana Amazon Warriors where the Bravo brothers scripted victory with the younger one smashing the six off the last ball. What was it being in the dressing room for that game?
RT: To lose in the Super Over to Guyana and then to win like that was great. If we had lost that game, it would be been very deflating. It was nice to see a couple of senior players perform very well and get what we were after.
CC: Through this CPL, we’ve seen you take some splendid catches, none better than the one-hander at slip. Can you tell us about this aspect of the game and how you work on it?
RT: You always pride yourself on your fielding. It can make a huge difference between winning and losing a game. It is nice to come here (West Indies) after playing a Test series where I had a lot of training in slip catches. I haven’t really had a lot in practice to be honest, but had it leading into the series. It was a good catch, but also a very lucky catch.
CC: Throughout your career, it was said you tried to play through the off-side, but it is now that it has developed. How did you train for that aspect?
RT: Yes, I have worked at it and am confident to use it in a game. It is nice to see that the hard work has paid off. I still got a long way to go to where I want to get to.
CC: Having played T20 cricket across the world, you have shared the dressing room with the likes of Rahul Dravid then a Dwayne Bravo. Your thoughts on traveling and playing T20 across countries?
RT: It is good to go around and experience different cultures along the way to see how they go about things. You share your knowledge with players while playing across the world. It is a give and take and is something I enjoy. It is nice to come over here in this part of the world. (Otherwise) Would’ve been just at home with winter in New Zealand. Sad to miss the family, but it is nice to come over here and play some good cricket.
CC: You also come across your teammates from New Zealand, with whom you share a dressing room for a major part of the year. What is that like?
RT: Yes, I guess it isn’t too different from playing domestic cricket. At the same time, you know their weaknesses and they know yours as well. It is good to see some New Zealand players come over here, experience different conditions and enhance their knowledge as I hope to do as well.
CC: But, would you share weaknesses? Does it make it complicated wherein you may play alongside these players a later on?
RT: I think most people know your weaknesses as it is. Sometimes, telling people your weaknesses is not a bad thing. It just makes you want to improve in that area and work hard on it. Some of the things may not come as a huge surprise, but sometimes you got to put yourself under that pressure to get that little bit and make yourself a better player.
CC: Who is the toughest bowler you have faced in the T20 format and why?
RT: I think (Sunil) Narine — anyone who can spin it both ways. Someone who bowls well at the start and the very end will always be a tough bowler to face. He is definitely one of the most consistent bowlers going around and has been for a few years.
CC: Any tips you would share with your teammates while playing such bowlers?
RT: Narine hails from Trinidad so they have given me a lot more information than I have given them. Teams play different bowlers differently. They have different techniques and strategies on how to combat them.
CC: This year has been very good for New Zealand cricket. What are your thoughts about the progress and the path ahead?
RT: It’s hard work. We’ve had a lot of potential and it is nice to put the two together. We still have a long way to go where we want to get to as a side. There are a few assignments at home and obviously the World Cup, which would be a big test. Our team is coming along well and hopefully we improve in areas where we need to. The inexperienced players at this time last year now have a lot more games under their belt and they are confident as well.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)