New Zealand in England 2013 May 10, 2013

'We are a far better team when Ross Taylor is performing' - Hesson

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Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, believes that the Ross Taylor captaincy controversy has helped him become a "better" coach.

Hesson, who replaced John Wright as New Zealand head coach last July, was a key figure in pressing for a change of captaincy from Taylor to Brendon McCullum. Consequently Taylor opted out of the South African tour before returning for the home series against England in February.

"I learned a lot during the whole experience and it might make me a better coach," Hesson told ESPNcricnfo in Leicester as New Zealand continued their preparations for the return series.

Speaking on a wide range of issues in an extensive interview, Hesson spoke about his coaching philosophy, the challenges of managing players, the mistakes committed on the road, as well as giving an insight into the game plans that worked in the drawn Test series against England.

Asked specifically whether the way Taylor was removed as captain was a mistake, Hesson said: "Whenever you make a decision like changing a captain it is difficult decision to make. All I want to say is at no stage during that process you want to upset anybody or put someone in a difficult situation. That obviously occurred, which was unfortunate."

It was an emotionally difficult moment for everyone involved, Hesson said. It has been six months since the incident and according to Hesson the relationship with Taylor, the best batsman in the New Zealand squad, is on the mend.

"We certainly are developing our relationship nicely. The circumstances have been well documented. We have been working well together."

Hesson pointed out that Taylor's success as a batsman was very important to New Zealand because that would help the inexperienced youngsters to play their own game with more freedom.

"Ross is a huge part of our group," Hesson said. "He is our premier batsman and he has performed very well in England in the past. We are a far better team when Ross Taylor is in the team and performing well. It is great to have him back.

"It is important for Ross to impose himself. He is quite an imposing batsman. Once he has got that level of confidence he is actually quite hard to bowl to. So it is matter of getting the confidence, getting that imposing nature at the crease. And also he works with some of younger batsmen as well. So the more comfortable he can feel about his own game the more comfortable he will feel helping others."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kentjones on May 10, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Thanks for this article Nagraj. Ross Taylor is one of the finest batsmen in NZ cricket and an important player in NZ team. Cricket administrators and coaches must understand that there must be sensitivity and discretion when making important decisions surrounding team selection and captaincy. The shenanigans in the Taylor captaincy issue were not handled properly and what entered the public domain was not good for NZC or cricket in general and this is apart from if Hesson was right or wrong in the matter. Come on guys lets focus on ways to deliver the wonderful game to the spectators and less on these unpleasant issues. Cricket does not need these incidents to mar its image. As a cricket follower I want to see Mr. Taylor perform at his best on the field of play and this means the right environment in the dressing room. If the NZ authorities work on this aspect,then we can see the best of Taylor and ultimately the best of NZ!

  • on May 11, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Ross Taylor is one of the finest that NZ ever produced, and his credibility lies in all 3 formats of the game. Psychologically he has carried this scar over the past months, even took it to the IPL. It was in his best interest to leave and get back with the lads for the English tour. Sure things can only get better from here on, and I would like to see him back to his destructive self from here on. Good luck Ross, you are one guy NZ cannot afford to lose.

  • cricketcritic on May 11, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Hesson says that this experience has taught him a lot. The shame is that he's done it before, i've seen him first hand destroy other individuals. The difference this time is that he's in the international cricket spotlight and he can't ignore it. Shame on you Mike Hesson.

  • on May 10, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    When will Hesson learn that the timing of many of his comments have been appalling. Agree with many others that he needs to learn when not to speak, why does he allow journalists to manipulate him into further discussion about the Taylor debacle. This man has a terrible lack of judgement. Put Stephen Fleming in the role. A great tactical thinker and very adept at handling the media. He exudes confidence, credibility and strong calm leadership....qualities sadly lacking in Hesson.

  • golgo_85 on May 10, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Black Caps need to get rid of Hesson, the Aussies need to get rid of Inveriarity.

  • anver777 on May 10, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    "Taylor captaincy controversy has helped him become a better coach" this is really good "Lesson" for Hesson !!! hope he develop his capabilities further & show the results in Eng tour ......

  • Erebus26 on May 10, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    A lot of people are slating Hesson here for what he's said about Taylor, but journalists are always going to ask these questions after what happened with the captaincy. I saw it as him trying to be diplomatic whilst being honest at the same time as Taylor clearly isn't in the best of nick at the moment. What do people actually want? For Hesson to keep quite or to refuse to answer questions regarding his relationship with Taylor? Because if he did that I'm sure people would be reading too much into that as well. Isn't it about time we let bygones be bygones?

  • Baundele on May 10, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    If he did really learn anything, he would not have talked about it again and we would not have been reading this article. He is basically saying that Ross Taylor is not performing at the moment.

  • on May 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    In tens years time we will be still talking about Ross Taylor,not mike hesson..good luck to the players.

  • on May 10, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Well done, Hesson, you've done it again. This whole incident was mishandled badly by Hesson and the management. Removing a captain is a very very serious and extremely sensitive matter but was handled by Hesson and the management as a bull enters a china shop. I suggest to Hesson, just stop talking about it and let Ross get on with things.

  • kentjones on May 10, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Thanks for this article Nagraj. Ross Taylor is one of the finest batsmen in NZ cricket and an important player in NZ team. Cricket administrators and coaches must understand that there must be sensitivity and discretion when making important decisions surrounding team selection and captaincy. The shenanigans in the Taylor captaincy issue were not handled properly and what entered the public domain was not good for NZC or cricket in general and this is apart from if Hesson was right or wrong in the matter. Come on guys lets focus on ways to deliver the wonderful game to the spectators and less on these unpleasant issues. Cricket does not need these incidents to mar its image. As a cricket follower I want to see Mr. Taylor perform at his best on the field of play and this means the right environment in the dressing room. If the NZ authorities work on this aspect,then we can see the best of Taylor and ultimately the best of NZ!

  • on May 11, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Ross Taylor is one of the finest that NZ ever produced, and his credibility lies in all 3 formats of the game. Psychologically he has carried this scar over the past months, even took it to the IPL. It was in his best interest to leave and get back with the lads for the English tour. Sure things can only get better from here on, and I would like to see him back to his destructive self from here on. Good luck Ross, you are one guy NZ cannot afford to lose.

  • cricketcritic on May 11, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Hesson says that this experience has taught him a lot. The shame is that he's done it before, i've seen him first hand destroy other individuals. The difference this time is that he's in the international cricket spotlight and he can't ignore it. Shame on you Mike Hesson.

  • on May 10, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    When will Hesson learn that the timing of many of his comments have been appalling. Agree with many others that he needs to learn when not to speak, why does he allow journalists to manipulate him into further discussion about the Taylor debacle. This man has a terrible lack of judgement. Put Stephen Fleming in the role. A great tactical thinker and very adept at handling the media. He exudes confidence, credibility and strong calm leadership....qualities sadly lacking in Hesson.

  • golgo_85 on May 10, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Black Caps need to get rid of Hesson, the Aussies need to get rid of Inveriarity.

  • anver777 on May 10, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    "Taylor captaincy controversy has helped him become a better coach" this is really good "Lesson" for Hesson !!! hope he develop his capabilities further & show the results in Eng tour ......

  • Erebus26 on May 10, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    A lot of people are slating Hesson here for what he's said about Taylor, but journalists are always going to ask these questions after what happened with the captaincy. I saw it as him trying to be diplomatic whilst being honest at the same time as Taylor clearly isn't in the best of nick at the moment. What do people actually want? For Hesson to keep quite or to refuse to answer questions regarding his relationship with Taylor? Because if he did that I'm sure people would be reading too much into that as well. Isn't it about time we let bygones be bygones?

  • Baundele on May 10, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    If he did really learn anything, he would not have talked about it again and we would not have been reading this article. He is basically saying that Ross Taylor is not performing at the moment.

  • on May 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    In tens years time we will be still talking about Ross Taylor,not mike hesson..good luck to the players.

  • on May 10, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Well done, Hesson, you've done it again. This whole incident was mishandled badly by Hesson and the management. Removing a captain is a very very serious and extremely sensitive matter but was handled by Hesson and the management as a bull enters a china shop. I suggest to Hesson, just stop talking about it and let Ross get on with things.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on May 10, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    I am not from New Zealand, so stating this from an impartial perspective, obviously Mike Hesson has not become a better coach. The major blame to that fiasco goes to the management and specially the coach. Not saying Talyor was not at fault. From this article, looks like Mike Hesson has not yet learnt diplomacy. What is apparent is that he has realized that Taylor is important in order for them raise their rankings.

  • on May 10, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think we'd all like to see Rosscoe back to his best! Plenty of firepower in the Kiwi batting now if they can get going on a good track they may put up some pretty big scores.

  • palla.avinash on May 10, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    I think it in a positive way Mike Hesson wants ross taylor to perform desperately which seems to weak link with present nz team where taylor performance can be key between wining and loosing tight games against England. So i think he was encouraging ross taylor to contribute more efficiently as when he was captain especially the way he played test in sri lanka. Ross taylor come on show that how good batsmen you can be and all the best new zealand.

  • sportofpain on May 10, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    And in a snide way he has just put more pressure on Ross Taylor. Well done Mr Hesson

  • on May 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Oh yeah yeah,,And for that they can drop the rest 10 players and play only Taylor as their side,Cricket is a team work based sport.

  • truguynese on May 10, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Mr. Mike Hesson, changing your hat do not change your identity. There were better ways of making the team your own.

  • truguynese on May 10, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Mr. Mike Hesson, changing your hat do not change your identity. There were better ways of making the team your own.

  • on May 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Oh yeah yeah,,And for that they can drop the rest 10 players and play only Taylor as their side,Cricket is a team work based sport.

  • sportofpain on May 10, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    And in a snide way he has just put more pressure on Ross Taylor. Well done Mr Hesson

  • palla.avinash on May 10, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    I think it in a positive way Mike Hesson wants ross taylor to perform desperately which seems to weak link with present nz team where taylor performance can be key between wining and loosing tight games against England. So i think he was encouraging ross taylor to contribute more efficiently as when he was captain especially the way he played test in sri lanka. Ross taylor come on show that how good batsmen you can be and all the best new zealand.

  • on May 10, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    I think we'd all like to see Rosscoe back to his best! Plenty of firepower in the Kiwi batting now if they can get going on a good track they may put up some pretty big scores.

  • CricketFanInLosAngles on May 10, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    I am not from New Zealand, so stating this from an impartial perspective, obviously Mike Hesson has not become a better coach. The major blame to that fiasco goes to the management and specially the coach. Not saying Talyor was not at fault. From this article, looks like Mike Hesson has not yet learnt diplomacy. What is apparent is that he has realized that Taylor is important in order for them raise their rankings.

  • on May 10, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Well done, Hesson, you've done it again. This whole incident was mishandled badly by Hesson and the management. Removing a captain is a very very serious and extremely sensitive matter but was handled by Hesson and the management as a bull enters a china shop. I suggest to Hesson, just stop talking about it and let Ross get on with things.

  • on May 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    In tens years time we will be still talking about Ross Taylor,not mike hesson..good luck to the players.

  • Baundele on May 10, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    If he did really learn anything, he would not have talked about it again and we would not have been reading this article. He is basically saying that Ross Taylor is not performing at the moment.

  • Erebus26 on May 10, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    A lot of people are slating Hesson here for what he's said about Taylor, but journalists are always going to ask these questions after what happened with the captaincy. I saw it as him trying to be diplomatic whilst being honest at the same time as Taylor clearly isn't in the best of nick at the moment. What do people actually want? For Hesson to keep quite or to refuse to answer questions regarding his relationship with Taylor? Because if he did that I'm sure people would be reading too much into that as well. Isn't it about time we let bygones be bygones?