Ross Taylor named New Zealand captain

Ross Taylor will replace Daniel Vettori as the Kiwi captain AFP

Wellington: Jun 21, 2011

Batsman Ross Taylor has been appointed New Zealand cricket captain, replacing spin bowler Daniel Vettori, who stepped down in March after the World Cup.

Taylor served as vice-captain under Vettori and his appointment was widely expected, with wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum seen as his main rival for the skipper’s position.

The 27-year-old said he was humbled by the appointment and believed New Zealand had the talent to be a force in world cricket.

“I’ve learnt a great deal about leadership having played under Dan Vettori and feel ready to take on what is one of the highest honours in New Zealand sport,” he said on Tuesday.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge and appreciate the level of responsibility that comes with captaining your country.”

Taylor has played 30 Tests, with an average of 41.12, and 107 one-day internationals, averaging 36.8.

New Zealand Cricket said Black Caps coach John Wright, director of cricket John Buchanan and acting selection manager Mark Greatbatch had all backed Taylor’s appointment.

“The process to select the captain has been robust,” New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said.

“We wanted to make sure the right people were involved and that we appointed the right man for the job — I’m sure we have done that.”

Vettori held the captaincy for four years and stepped down after guiding New Zealand to the World Cup semi-finals to concentrate of his goal of becoming the second Test player behind India’s Kapil Dev to take 400 wickets and 4,000 runs.

The 32-year-old has already reached 4,167 Test runs and has 345 wickets.