December 21, 2013

Taylor laying his path to greatness?

Ross Taylor's prolific series against West Indies, where he has scored three hundreds in a row, has led to fulsome praise from former New Zealand players who believe Taylor is finally reaching his full potential. In his column for Fairfax, Simon Doull says it took time for Taylor to recover from being sacked as captain but he can now look forward.

They haven't been easy hundreds either. They've been grinding hundreds on wickets that NZ have been sent in on, apart from Hamilton. Compare Taylor's composure to this time last year, and it's like he's a different bloke. He's been selective with his shot-making, and shown an incredible concentration to bat for incredibly long periods at the crease. More than 19 hours in three test matches is a phenomenal effort in anyone's book.

In the New Zealand Herald, Mark Richardson, a batsman known for his stickability, lauds the concentration shown by Taylor during the series and also says that New Zealand's success in Hamilton, after a tightly contest first two days, should not be downplayed.

Also before I condemn this pitch I want to say that if New Zealand can pull this off and win this test, then hats off to the skill of the New Zealand swing bowlers; we saw plenty of skill last evening from all four. It was significant because it was a continuation of the dominance New Zealand have had over the West Indies, in more visitor-friendly conditions.

Meanwhile, in the same paper, Paul Lewis bemoans how far West Indies have slumped

Since the 80s, the world has mourned the slow disabling of West Indian cricket. Myths like basketball and other US sports draining off the youth of the nation have persisted; the reality is that pollution by poor management, lack of stars, ordinary results, easy money in the selfish realms of the Indian Premier League and other cash-rich but meaningless short forms of the game, have slowly poisoned the West Indian well.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.