NZ v Pakistan, World T20 2012, Group D, Pallekele September 22, 2012

Taylor confident of repeat show against Pakistan


Ross Taylor sat patiently in the back row of seats in the media briefing room at the Pallekele stadium, waiting for Mushfiqur Rahim and Brendon McCullum to finish the post-match press conference of the Bangladesh-New Zealand game. When Taylor's turn to speak finally came, there were exactly two journalists left waiting to hear from the New Zealand captain ahead of the match against Pakistan, after the others had departed en masse. None of the two was from New Zealand. They aren't an immensely followed side.

That doesn't stop them from making a mockery of predictions, especially in global events. One of them was that New Zealand would struggle against Bangladesh's left-arm spinners. A McCullum century later, the focus had shifted to how New Zealand would combat the Pakistan spinners, who bring a lot more variety with them in the form of Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez.

Taylor said New Zealand had the advantage of having already played on the Pallekele pitch, which hadn't exactly helped spin. "Hafeez and Ajmal have got very good records in the last 12-18 months," Taylor said. "We have had an insight into the wicket and how it has played at different times. And the confidence from the way we played [against Bangladesh], we'll hopefully take into that. We prepared really well for the Bangladesh game and I'm sure we'll do the same against Pakistan."

Taylor was asked whether Pallekele, with its high altitude and largely cloudy climate, was better suited to New Zealand compared to the two subcontinent teams in their group. "I'm not sure," Taylor said. "It didn't spin as much as we thought it might. When you play a second time on it, it could probably spin a little bit more. We'll have to wait and see."

Pakistan will be a much harder side to tackle compared to Bangladesh, according to Taylor. The last time these two sides met was also in Pallekele, during the 2011 World Cup, when Taylor heaved six after six into the grass banks beyond deep midwicket in a counter-attacking century after being let off twice by Kamran Akmal early.

"Pakistan are a lot more experienced than Bangladesh. They've played very well in the last 12-18 months. They've got world-class players throughout their team. There are some areas we still need to work on from this match and hopefully we can improve on them come next match. I think there will be a few changes in a few areas as we are coming up against a different side."

One of those changes could be at the top of the order. While James Franklin was involved in a big partnership with McCullum, he wasn't able to attack the bowling consistently. Taylor credited Franklin for batting sensibly, but was non-committal over whether the allrounder would open against Pakistan.

"When you are sent up the order, I think you can go a bit too hard at times. I think he [Franklin] gave himself time. He is at his best when he gives himself a few balls and punches the loose balls and attack when you're needed to. On his day, James can be the attacking one as well. You have got to be flexible and know your role in the team. Will he still open in the next game? We are not sure."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    Come on LALA Smile Please You RockxX.. Praying for your better Performance and back to the GAME..Best of Luck

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Opening Stand for Pakistan and performance of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor will be the decider of the match.

  • A on September 23, 2012, 8:27 GMT

    He is not analyzing the spin factor correctly, specially with regards to the type of spin bowling pakistan is bringing to this game. The only person that needs the pitch is ajmal, and even he has enough drift and the doosra to cause problems. It is ajmal's lack of spin that makes him dangerous. Afridi relies on drift, through the air, which is generated by his wrist, which is what makes him so dangerous. Specially since he can generate pace, so he is one of the few spinners who has performed on diverse tracks. However, his form has been poor as he is not generating anywhere near the type of drift he used to, and even his pace seems poor. There is some speculation about his back being weak, or some type of niggle. Hafeez is a classic line and length bowler, who may face challenges if there is a lot of dew, but overall I think he will manage too. I still can't get over Sami's inclusion over Junaid. Pakistan has relied too much on "old" talent and has-beens in this squad. Defensive tactic

  • Hawks on September 23, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    The 4 teams that will make to the semis are 1. South Africa 2. Pakistan 3. England 4. Australia......Mark my words!!! My money is on either Aus or Pak!!! Bother are giants and giant-killers at the same time!!!

  • imran on September 23, 2012, 4:26 GMT

    BM will not make any impact since he will be under pressure of his own performance knowing the fact of strong bowling attack of Pak. Ross will be demaging to Pak but if afridi or ajmal get him to bowl rightaway as he face the 1st ball it will be hard for him to put up a big total when Pak got much chances to win this game looking if play like a Unit.

  • Jay on September 23, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    NZ could win this one. PAK are unpredictable and sometimes that's not very good in such a format of cricket. Still, PAK bowling is superb. It's the batting that needs to fire. Their top 6 batsmen including Afridi MUST fire and put up a big score if they bat first. NZ on the other hand will be very confident after recently beating India and Bangladesh. Good luck.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    Mcculum Wont make any diffrnce tmarow ! Pakistan have tp bat well only bowling is preetty gd just have to continue tht n if they doo that then defintely we will win the match :)

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    big question mark on Pak batting?. NZ will won tommorow match.

  • Imran on September 22, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    Still can't forget and forgive those two cacthes (sitters) droped by kamran akmal. poor shoiab akhter was unfairly blammed for that match loss. I hope pakistan dont play imran nazir in this game. get shafeeq in middle order rather. too many opners already in side. No matter what conditons would be but Ajmal wont be easy to tackle. Mcullam is far better batsman than taylor. taylor is just one side slogger.

  • Aaquib on September 22, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    If NZ wins or Rain Win Then BD vs Pak Match will Be like "Final" for Both Teams....But Itz Hard to think of the way BD played against NZ that they will beat pakistan...In this Match in my Opinion Razzaq,Ajmal and Jamshed for pakistan and Mccullum,Taylor and Southee for Newzealand Will be The Key

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