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Taylor not at ease in New Zealand set-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 27, 2013

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Ross Taylor was bowled on his first ball, New Zealand v England, 2nd Test, Wellington, 2nd day, March 15, 2013
Ross Taylor did not have a fruitful Test series against England © Getty Images
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New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has indicated he is not completely at ease within the team's set-up after returning to the squad for the home series against England, following his sacking as captain ahead of the tour to South Africa last year, and his fall-out with coach Mike Hesson.

"I wouldn't say I'm as comfortable as I would like to be, but I guess that will (improve) over time," Taylor told LiveSport, a New Zealand radio show, a day after drawing the Test series against England in a thrilling finish in Auckland. "There are a lot of things that have happened. Maybe over the next couple of weeks or months things might get told, but now is probably not a great time to talk about it."

Taylor's comments were received with disappointment by New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White. "Surprised really. Disappointed. A little bit confused why he would come out with those comments a day after an exceptional Test match where our guys played so well, when everything should be about the team," White said. "It should all be about the team performance now but unfortunately he's come out with these comments and I need to understand his motivation for that and I'll be talking to him about that in the next few days."

Taylor was removed from the New Zealand captaincy in all formats in December 2012 and replaced by Brendon McCullum, who had the backing of Hesson. Taylor then decided to take time off from the game and miss the tour of South Africa because of the manner in which he was ousted, which led New Zealand Cricket to issue an apology for the breakdown in communication within the management.

After declaring himself available for the home series against England, Taylor was picked in all formats but was not in good form, making 23 runs in three Twenty20s and 94 runs in five Test innings. He had a better ODI series, scoring 150 in three matches. He said he was looking forward to the return leg in England during the winter, and that he was pleased with how the newcomers in the squad had performed.

"As one of the senior batters, it's nice for others to come in and score some runs, something I haven't done very much in a New Zealand team is have to wait a couple of sessions to bat," Taylor said. "Hopefully I can start getting used to that trend. We've always had the talent, it's just marrying that together and playing consistent cricket. We've got a good nucleus of young players who are getting more experience now. Time will tell, there are definitely good signs for the future."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Min2000 on (March 30, 2013, 1:14 GMT)

New Zealand surprised most of us with a good showing against England this summer, but does that automatically clear Hesson (and NZC) of the botched Taylor sacking? Should we forget that senior NZC employees clearly lied about the incident afterwards?

I get that we need to move on and back the team etc, but in the very least Hesson, Carter, White and anyone else involved needs to admit their mistakes and exonerate Taylor once and for all.

The most likely scenario now (and NZC should offer this deal to Taylor) is to let McCullum captain the side for a few years and then Taylor can come back and play out his last 3-4 years as skipper (if he wants to).

By that time Williamson will be in his late 20's and he can take the helm.

See how easy that was, NZC? It's not rocket science!

Posted by SDCLFC on (March 28, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Was fine with the declaration - there was heaps of time and that's my point. When I say it was mammoth, I mean that we were so far ahead, especially once Trott, Cooke and Comption had been dismissed, victory should've been straight forward but that McCullum's unconventional tactics, that so many want to hail as magnificent, failed to deliver. And this compares poorly against Taylor as despite Hobart's pitch being a little more exicted, Australia were still expected to chase down their fourth innings total of 240(ish) and that Sri Lanka too had some chance of victory compared to England's zero.What no one seems interested in considering, though Jeremy Coney was asking some of these questions on air, is whether a more conventional approach could've delivered victory. I think so, particularly as for me his high rotation of bowlers meant that our seamers simply weren't at the crease enough and Martin far too much - the 3 seamers workloads on the 5th day was not huge, 55 overs.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (March 28, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

@ SDCLFC Agree that he declared too late, for me when Fulton got out (440 odd lead and say if you're good enough to set a new record lets see it) would've been the best time. Many have been bagging McCullum saying 350-400 would've been sufficient, but imagine the uproar if England had chased that kind of total down on a pretty flat track... To lay the blame squarely on McCullum for the draw is ridiculous, some great (albeit lucky) batting from Prior, a few dropped/near chances, and some unfortunately poor spin from Martin were big factors also.

I'm just hoping we can carry this form forward to the return series, would like nothing more than to see Taylor score a big hundred over there and McCullum come in a smash them around once again for a quickfire fifty odd. I think our team balance is looking better than what it has for a long time, McCullum has finally realised he's not a test opener and we're picking openers to open as oppose to shoving middle order players in there.

Posted by truthfinder on (March 28, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Ross Taylor's sacking was not unjustified. The NZ's ODI performance under him has been dismal quite some time and he though occasionally flamboyant was not pretty consistent. So the team management took the decision to change the leadership only in shorter format. Ross should have accepted that gracefully and gone to the difficult tour of South Africa along with the team at least in Test. He was not sacked from Test cricket captaincy and should have continued to be at the helm of that perform well and he would have easily got the captaincy of ODI back after a while once McCullum too start failing. He, although the best Kiwi batter had not yet achieve that much that he would be adamant to refuse country's leadership role in premier format. Had he regard himself in the same stature of Martin Crow or Richard Hadlee? Now he could not perform well in test series and other juniors shows his dispensability, he will struggle to keep his place in team unless he performs consistently

Posted by SDCLFC on (March 28, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

The original claim I was refuting was that Taylor had been shown up by McCullum to be the better captain which was why Taylor was now speaking out (Harry Verry). If I'm honest I would give McCullum a scaled up pass-mark. He lead a galvanised team which got within touching distance of a fantastic result and scaled-up on the handicap that it was only his 5th test in charge. However those who wish to hail his captaincy need to reconcile themselves with the fact that having removed Cooke, Trott and Compton, as well as Finn, 6 wickets in 90 overs should've been straight forward and that this doesn't compare well to the two times Taylor had opportunities to lead his bowling attack to the finish line when he had far fewer runs or overs to work with (McCullum never needed to defend the total from being caught) . The excitment of witnessing a fantastic performance and a great test should not be transferred into believing that he is a fantastic captain. 450+ runs with 140 overs is mammoth.

Posted by weasel_zapper on (March 28, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

@ SDCLFC on (March 27, 2013, 9:41 GMT) you can hardly compare defending totals on a pitch that was doing plenty in Hobart and a deteriorating track in Sri Lanka with that tame track in Auckland. They were great wins sure, but alot of people in support of Taylor conveniently forget the lean times in between. The first matches of both those series we were soundly beaten, and the tour of the West Indies was an absolute disaster.

To me even though we didn't win that series that was the most galvanised and consistent NZ team that i've seen in a very long time. The fact that everyone seemed to contribute at different times during the series was great, too often we've relied on too few to be competitive.

Taylor made mistakes as captain, as has McCullum. This whole thing was handled extremely poorly, there's no doubt about that, but at the end of the day I don't blame Hesson for wanting the man he thought was best for the job, as ultimately his head is first on the chopping block.

Posted by BoyaniA on (March 28, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

Ross should have never been treated the way they did , but I think Ross should move on and perform for the country without complaining about his personal issues with the Management.

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