Brendan Taylor April 22, 2013

'It's a great rivalry between us and Bangladesh'

Brendan Taylor talks sledging, heroes, food and last-ball sixes

Tell us about opening with Sachin Tendulkar at Lashings.
It was pretty nerve-wracking. I had huge admiration for him, so to finally have the opportunity to play with him was special. He's a very approachable guy. He gave me some important advice about the way he goes about his batting. He's pretty relaxed.

What is the one cricket video you have watched most, on YouTube or on DVD?
I like watching the one where I hit a six off the last ball against Bangladesh. It has a nice music in the background, so it gives me a bit of confidence and motivation to play.

Which is your favourite moment in Zimbabwe's cricket history?
It is the Test win against Bangladesh [in 2011]. We returned after five tough years of rebuilding, so to achieve that and to play the way we did was extremely special.

Do you remember the first cricket match you saw live?
The first international probably was India against Zimbabwe in the first Test match in 1992. I went with my dad.

Which was your first big autograph?
It would be Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara. They toured Zimbabwe when I was very young.

What was the first time you got rapped on the knuckles?
I missed curfew once and received an extremely high fine. We were playing England the next day, the curfew was 10 o'clock and I came in at 12.30am.

There is a video on YouTube with a bit of sledging between you and Bangladesh's Mahmudullah. He is now your captain in the Bangladesh Premier League. How do you handle that?
It was never an issue. We have become very good friends since then. It was a heat-of-the-moment thing. I didn't score runs that day, so I tried to get under his skin a bit, and it sort of worked!

It is nice to be part of Chittagong, and to play against him when he's playing for Bangladesh.

Don't you get bored of playing Bangladesh all the time?
Jeez, it's a great contest for us. We see Bangladesh improving all the time, so we want to keep improving too. They are great competition for us, and it is a great rivalry. We really enjoy it.

What do you use as a stress-buster?
I like to play golf, catch up with my friends and family, spend time with my girlfriend.

Who is your all-time hero from any walk of life?
Andy Flower. I met him in 2000. We are family friends with his parents. I have been fortunate to have known them for a while. He is the greatest cricketer produced by Zimbabwe, and he was the No. 1 batsman in the world at one time.

I'm not in contact with him that much now. Grant Flower is our batting coach, so I ask him a lot of questions.

What's the best compliment you've received from a fellow cricketer?
One comes to mind. About two years ago Heath Streak told me, "You're better than you think you are. Go out and play like we know you can play." I fed off that and had a good two years.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I think what I am on the field, I'm the opposite of off the field. I am extremely competitive, but at the same time I like to be very outgoing and friendly, and try to make as many friends as possible. Luckily enough, with cricket you can do that. This career doesn't last forever, so I try to contribute where I can.

Dale Steyn hunts crocodiles. Are you good at hunting anything?
Hunting and fishing are big in Africa. I did a little bit when I was younger but I have grown out of that.

What's your favourite African dish?
Steaks are popular. There's a place in Harare called Miller's. Cattleman's in Bulawayo hasn't received the attention it deserves.

Use three adjectives to describe yourself.
Determined, passionate and modest.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent