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Former New Zealand batsman and captain

The story of Ross Taylor

How the New Zealand batsman struggled with rejection and self-doubt to emerge stronger and better

Martin Crowe

December 22, 2013

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor: set to be his nation's best © AFP

The subject of Ross Taylor should only be attempted in extraordinary circumstances, but these are extraordinary times. It's a tough assignment to appear balanced and fair, as one must always try to be, so while it won't please all, I hope, due to the feats of Taylor in recent weeks, an attempt to inform and provide insight is accepted.

It's well known that Ross rang me in 2006 and asked me to mentor him. That I didn't know him at all was beside the point. The fact was he stated clearly that he wanted to score more than 17 Test centuries, set a new record for New Zealand. So my reply was an emphatic affirmative. He paid his own way to Auckland, we met, we spoke, and we clicked.

Last year, at 10.15am on Sunday, December 2, to be exact, Ross rang me to say he was packing in playing cricket. Of course, we now know why he felt so low; he was told he was no longer wanted as the national captain. Not that being sacked was so much the issue as the way it was executed. A year later, he has found his peace.

Time heals. Ross and I have shared a close parallel together, over the same duration at exactly the same time, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. Ross has found his love for the game again, his love for playing for his country; he has let go of the confusion and moved into the light.

His story is worth telling at this juncture, if I may say and do so myself.

Up until late last year Ross had enjoyed a fairly smooth ride through life. Beautifully raised in Masterton, by two extremely humble and caring parents, he attended a strong high school, Palmerston North Boys High, and made his way naturally into the Central Districts provincial team as a powerful, free-flowing strokemaker. His signature shots were the cut and the power-hit to leg, both tailored through a passion for hockey during the winter months.

In late 2007, Ross made an inauspicious Test debut in South Africa, and then in his third Test, the first match of England's tour of New Zealand in early 2008, he stroked a cultured, technically straight hundred in New Zealand's victory in Hamilton. He looked to have the temperament and intelligence to forge a special legacy for his family, and particularly for his proud Samoan culture (his mother's side).

However, during the last 12 months, following his sacking as captain, Ross spent many lonely nights in his hotel room, contemplating his world. He was stuck. He didn't want to venture out into the team social environ, not yet trusting what others thought, nor what he himself would feel. Martin Guptill, his best friend, wasn't around much after the England tour, so Ross ate room service alone, often in deep thought.

Also, he struggled to enjoy his normal deep sleep, his tonic after a hard day's work. He tossed and turned, playing over and over his innings to come, running his batteries down like a car with its lights left on overnight. By morning, he often felt spent. Resuming his innings, within an hour of play he was inevitably out; confused, distorted in mind, slow in body.

 
 
I asked him to slowly explain a typical night before an important match. I repeated it back to him. He realised he had stopped living a normal life. While away overseas on tour, he was living a cricketing nightmare
 

He asked valued sports-science experts what to do. He called me two weeks prior to the West Indies tour beginning in Dunedin. He had no form and carried a few doubts about the road ahead. I asked him to slowly explain a typical night before an important match. I repeated it back to him. He realised he had stopped living a normal life. While away overseas on tour, he was living a cricketing nightmare. In other words, his nights were spent fretting on what he thought he was the only thing he had left in the game - his batting. He had forgotten about himself.

I offered him what I had learnt, especially when away on tour. The simple premise was that once you left the ground, cricket was a taboo subject. Often we left the ground many hours after play - the most marvellous way to learn, over a beer in the dressing room with valued peers. Further to that condition, as the game had already started, there was nothing more to prepare for, just the act of recharging each night, ready with energy the next day. I reminded him of what he used to enjoy doing: eating good food with a glass of red, sharing a laugh and quiet evening with loved ones, then sleeping like a baby with not a care in the world. To be himself.

In the build-up to the Dunedin Test, I stressed that he watch some Youtube footage of him batting well - a bit of visual stimulus. The night before the first Test against West Indies, Ross expressed he felt surprisingly ready. Despite a tough opening 30 minutes at the crease, he walked off at stumps with his captain, Brendon McCullum, unbeaten centuries to both names - a symbolic union.

At 8.30pm he texted me to say he was having a quiet, enjoyable meal and a glass of wine with friends. I relaxed as I read the text, knowing he had made a vital adjustment to his approach to the game. He had let go of all the anxiety and resentment. Instead, he began to live the moment he was in.

Ross was back. I texted a friend and predicted that Ross could well be on the verge of something special, a double, possibly even a triple. The next day he began fresh and walked off unbeaten on 217, his highest.

Then in the next Test he carried on "in the zone", head down and playing the moment, only to succumb to a rush of blood after he had denied himself any food during his first-day ton at the Basin Reserve. Had he not got out two overs before the close, he could well have gone on to another double, even a triple. It wasn't like him to not eat, a lesson, I am sure, he will have learnt now.

A week later in Hamilton, his hometown, he carried on and on and on for his third hundred of the series, the 11th of his career thus far. After occupying the crease for over 20 hours and all but reaching 500 runs for the series, Ross was dismissed caught at deep third man. He became the first New Zealander to score three hundreds in three successive Tests in the same series. I was right about the triple, just not quite the form it would take!

There is no question that Ross Taylor has reached that period so typical of a player finding the peak in his career, his prime. At nearly 30, he has become a mixture of mature mind and conditioned body. There is nothing now holding him back.

The moral of the story so far is of a man, humble and gentle in nature, being stung by a painful experience and taking his time to heal and learn from the experience. Many would have succumbed to such an ordeal. Instead, Ross chose to focus on his true essence for living; to love and be loved. His family has been extraordinary. His wife, Victoria, a cricketer herself, has been unbelievable in support. Becoming a father has given Ross the real focus of his life.

He will fulfil his dream and achieve whatever goal he sets himself, for he sees life clearly and succinctly. There will be other obstacles, mostly top-level bowlers gunning for his scalp, yet he will find a positive way to express his love for cricket and the privilege he feels representing his country and family.

What I admire about him is that he is always prepared to ask for feedback and assistance, always grateful and humane to thank all those he trusts. His feet are firmly on the ground as he carves out a career that will see him top the mountain he set out to conquer - to be his nation's best.

And so I am biased, and very proud of him. Through his example of resilience and character, of integrity and honesty, Ross has taught me much and helped me heal. This flurry of expertly crafted hundreds in the last three weeks has been a wonderfully courageous way to end a tough yet important year in his life.

Ross Taylor is a good, honest story of pain and pleasure; and he is a greater man for coming through it.

Martin Crowe, one of the leading batsmen of the late '80s, played 77 Tests for New Zealand

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Posted by   on (December 27, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

I regard Martin Crowe as the best NZ batsman I've seen, if Ross Taylor surpasses him, then he is truly a legend of NZ cricket.

Posted by Rj_Kiwi on (December 25, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Mccullum is one of the most over-rated batsmen in the history of Test Cricket. But he offered a lot more as a keeper in TC. As a limited overs cricketer he offers his best value. I do not hate him, but he is a frustrating player to watch at time. Like many I hope he finds his game because the talent is there. But time is running out and it needs to happen soon. I fear Mbac simply won't get there, especially if the ever foolish Hesson is his guide. As for Taylor, this could be it for this cricketer. Who knows how far up the rankings he could go, could he one day be number 1? If he is destined then it will be on the back of an epic cricketing journey of the mind and the game itself. And this is the journey is referring to in this great article.

Posted by nicevans on (December 25, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

@ shane and Djrnz. Of course we would all like to see Maccullum score more runs and the nature of his dismissals have been disappointing in recent times. But there has been an undercurrent ever since his selection, where it doesn't seem to matter what he does it's met with a disproportionate amount of negativity from a certain sector of fans.See regs post where he overhypes Maccullums decision to bowl first as an example. If you listen to talkback radio you would think he was the devil incarnate at times, with 'fans' waiting to jump down his throat when he fails, then strangely silent when he goes well. Remember when he starred in the england series in nz and people were still moaning about his captaincy?! Maccullum had the ability to polarise people even before his captaincy selection with his perceived swagger or confidence. The captaincy fiasco and Taylors current vein of form is just another stick to beat him with. I say just give the guy a break, his batting form will return.

Posted by regofpicton on (December 25, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

Here's a little ball by ball coming up to McCullum's demise at Hamilton

"68.4 tries to blast this length ball . mishits 70.1 has a go at a very full one, mishits 70.2 an almighty pull . misses 70.6 a big drive . thick edge [1 run off pad] 70.1 hacked a cut . thick edge . poor stroke" caught OUT (12)

This is when we were trying to overtake 367, & needed a lead because (courtesy of his decision to insert the Windies) we would have to bat last on a turning pitch against their excellent spinners.

I've supported our team for 50 years, & I'm quite sure such dross has never previously been mistaken for test match quality batting let alone heroic. It's utter rubbish, & if any other member of the team batted like this they'd rightly be dropped immediately. But the REALLY annoying thing is that the man obviously does not lack talent. If he hadn't been persuaded that he's superman, & played within his limitations, he'd be very valuable. As things stand he's a complete liability

Posted by shane-oh on (December 24, 2013, 11:41 GMT)

nicevans - I've let the captaincy thing go a long time ago, as much as it disgusted me. Like many other fans, I just want to see McCullum be more responsible at times, especially in the whites. We see him throw his wicket away when we are battling to save a match far too often, with the requisite 'that's my game' nonsense afterwards. He's better than that, and just needs to make better decisions sometimes and alter 'his game' when the situation requires it. I'm a fan of his, always will be, just wish he'd do the right thing sometimes.

Posted by DJRNZ on (December 24, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

@nicevans - my issue, and a lot of other peoples issue with McCullum is his consistency. We just want our Captain to stand up when it matters and not throw his wicket away as he so often does with a rash shot. I am over the whole Captaincy saga, for me he is a pretty good Captain and they are building a good team. Just want him to be more responsible with the bat in tests. So much ability which is the frustrating thing for me. Simple equation - he starts getting more runs people will get off his back.

Posted by nicevans on (December 24, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

@regofpicton I find it strange that you feel the need to consistently undermine Maccullum. Its obvious that you have an agenda on this website, and no doubt other media. There is a lot more vitriol towards Maccullum when he fails and the usual silence he succeeds. I don't understand why we can't all get behind the whole team at the moment. The team is playing well and Maccullum has been going well as a captain despite his average batting stats at the moment. Why anyone would want a change of captaincy at such an important time is beyond me. Taylor won't take the captaincy back and Kane doesn't need the extra burden, both players are playing well in their current positions. If Ryder pushes for selection then we will need a reshuffle. I think some fans just need to get over the. Hesson/Maccullum thing and get behind the team because it's not going to change this season, at least.

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

nz need to develop ish sodhi and kane williamson further in both batting and bowling to add threats both ways spinning and allow more players to stick with people they trust for their own improvement such as bowlers talking to allen donald and williamson to grant bradburn ex nd coach and ps why is mcculum still captain his place is under threat which is more then rutherford and fulton

Posted by amclean on (December 24, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

@DJRNZ - I agree your "dream team" suggestion completely and had NZC not undermined John Wright by appointing John Buchanan as his boss, it may well have happened.

The role of the coach and captain is to build a team and with the right people it can be done quite quickly - Andrew Strauss's book describes well how he and Andy Flower achieved this.

In Taylor's case, it seems he has had to go outside the team structure after spending lonely, sleep-less nights. I find that quite incredible and I wonder what else in the team environment might be contributing, especially given that most would agree Ross is one of cricket's nicer guys and not of the type Graeme Swann referred to this week.

Whatever the case, Taylor's rise to again become the team's talisman in spite of everything and to nail a century in all three tests (that, incidentally, his mentor narrowly missed against the Windies in 1987), says a heap about his character and desire to represent his country with distinction.

Posted by regofpicton on (December 24, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

It is simply fascinating to see the depths of dumb plumbed by Ross Taylor's few remaining critics. In the case of Hairy Kiore he is still blaming Rosco for our failure to win the first test in Dunedin. This is crazy stuff. NZ was at 44 for 4 when he took control. But for the rain we would have won confortably thanks to his unbeaten double century. The dressing room might have known rain was coming but he was in the middle saving our skins. And I didn't see or hear of any messages going out to him to speed up.

And as for his suspect batting in ODIs, I can only attribute Mr Kiore's fears to very highly selective amnesia. In the last series again England Taylor scored 54, 60 and 71, and against Bangladesh he scored 8, 45 and 107* (average 69). And how did McCullum go: 5, 40* 6, 0, 14, and absent injured (average 16.25). These figure clearly show that we do have something to worry about, but it isn't Ross Taylor!!!!

Posted by   on (December 24, 2013, 1:44 GMT)

I remember Ross Taylor's innings against Pakistan in the 2011 WC. Magical. Brutal.Any player who can play like that truly has talent. And at age 30 Taylor seems to have finally matured and come to accept what his priority is and what is in the best interests of NZ cricket and then his interests. I have a feeling Taylor is going to be a pain in the Hinie to many teams and many bowlers in the coming seasons. Destiny throws many yorkers and other ensemble of vicious balls and only those who have strong character survive and prosper. Hopefully Taylor will set an example to Kids in NZ and encourage more to be good sportsmen and women. Jesse Ryder [another VERY special talent] are you listening???

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

You just cannot dislike Ross Taylor, wonderfull player.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

yes Ross taylor is doing the business, not smashing it as one reader/commentor put it, but by selecting which strokes he is going to play and when, that's the sign that you now understand the game and your game and can put it all into practice and reap the results...meanwhile poor Brendan still insists on trying to hit 6s over midwicket and regularly getting caught in the outfield...hes not going to learn is he which is why he will end with average test statisitics (that's average NZ test stats, by world stats hell be below average)

Posted by ssarma_ca on (December 23, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

I loved the article about a man I have lot of respect for and from a man I idolized during my growing years. A very touching insight into Ross. Keep going Ross and as a free bird and with no burdens...

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 13:07 GMT)

I just came for the cover drives

Posted by iceaxe on (December 23, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

A great insight into one of NZ's finest cricketers. Thank you.

Good luck with the ODI's. Hope to see more!

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

Well done ross taylor, the saga that has gone on with nz cricket in the last year involving you and team mates has been a turning point in your career, with advice from martin crowe you have dug deep and showed maturity and resolute in your batting. The technique you have applied keeps it simple but affective ( without the slog sweep ) and im sure with you as nz premier batsman your team mates will follow you in your success. In the next series against india I would not play sodli (but still in the squad) as I think he is still learning the game and india are great players of spinners. I would provide a green pitch ( as we should always do) so we can have every chance of success. My team would be 1. latham 2. Rutherford 3. Williamson 4. taylor 5. ryder 6. mc callum 7. Anderson 8. watling 9. bracewell 10. southie 11. boult.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (December 23, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

@HairyKiore Ross Taylor averages 40 in ODIs and can control an innings brilliantly, and are you serious about Dunedin? It was clearly not his fault. Are you just looking for a reason to criticise?

Posted by tauranga on (December 23, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

A typical insightful Martin Crowe article. Ross Taylor looks at peace with himself & that can only be good for NZ Cricket. The squad of players look strong & there are plenty of good performances by players in the domestic cricket.

We should encourage more younger players to "buddy up" with senior players who have experienced the highs & lows of Test cricket, especially when away from home. Good on yer Ross.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Beautifully written Martin... It was pleasure seeing him bat... :-)

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 23, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

No doubt Ross is one of the great batsmen of his country and a real gentleman of rare kind. I believe there is a lot more to come from his bat. Said that, I must say, Martin Crowe and Hadle are the greatest of them all and Ross may get to be the third if he goes on to make those 17 centuries.

Posted by CaptainPiha on (December 23, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

Nice one Martin, top insight! What a pleasure it's been to watch Ross carve up the Windies. Roll on summer; the prospect of Ross, Jesse and Martin back in the team colours is a most exciting one!

P.S I was a kid when you were blazing away at the crease and now my son has the privilege of watching Ross. It's a great thing.

Posted by alesana85 on (December 23, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Great article. Great insight into Ross Taylor. Taking advice from NZs greatest ever batsman should be a no brainer, can't understand why other top NZ players don't do the same. Awesome comeback from Taylor especially after last years captaincy debacle, personally if I was betrayed like that I would never play for NZ ever again, just play for the T20 money in the IPL. Lucky for NZC Taylor has more resolve than I do.

Posted by TheDoctor394 on (December 23, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

Donovan Williams said: "Things happen for a reason sometimes. Like when West Indies were on the verge of a series whitewash in the Caribbean against England, Brian Lara set a new world record which erased memory of that miserable tour. Regardless of his poor form in previous games during that same series, the pride of Caribbean people was lifted to new heights (they cared not about losing the series)."

If all this is true, no wonder the West Indies have not improved since then.

Posted by HairyKiore on (December 23, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

Where was he in the second innings at Dunedin ??? Lets be honest NZ should have won the series 3-0 and the statistics do not look good ??......Now the big test for Ross is the limited over games ....I certainly have concerns about the way Taylor plays in them but I will wait and see..Mk

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

Oh give me a break! Rejection is part of life. Millions and millions of people daily get far worse rejections than Ross did. Hes still a famous international cricketer traveling the world and earning big money regardless. Now if you really wanna talk about "against all odds inspiration" how about his team mate Jesse Ryder?? The guy was almost dead after the beating he took and now hes coming back to play cricket. Now thats truly an inspiring story of how to over come odds.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 1:19 GMT)

Brilliant. Absolute brillaint. Martin Crowe neglects all the cliche's and writes from his heart. Truly magnificient insight.

Posted by JSeyder on (December 23, 2013, 0:42 GMT)

I am reading this in Sydney Australia where (along with our ashes victory of course) I have been enjoying watching NZ carve up the West Indies. I love the reemergence of Ross and feel you have painted a picture of him that does his justice without denying his pain. Your insights into our cricketers really move me Martin. I am so excited about the future of this whole NZ team.

Posted by   on (December 23, 2013, 0:26 GMT)

Superb series for Ross, proud both of his batting, but also of his growing beyond the divisive, and sad manner of his demise as Captain. I'm a proud kiwi and prouder kiwi supporter, so it is great to hear a "real" story of New Zealand heroism, and one plantively and heartfelt. Well done Martin - for your mentoring, generous support, and your praise when the job is done well.

Posted by Sanj747 on (December 23, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

A great piece by the great M Crowe. Very much enjoying his articles and notes on Cricinfo. As for Ross taylor good luck to him and he deserves the best. Well done. Martin Crowe and Ross taylor make a great team and for the sake of NZ cricket this must continue and more of the same partnerships from past to present players needs to happen.

Posted by hoags on (December 22, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

Great article Martin, but what are you doing? I saw you in an interview 6 months ago saying for the sake of your health you were going to have to have nothing to do with the game anymore? You just cant keep away!! This article shows the clear difference between a wannabe great like Mcullum and the real deal Taylor. When Crowe criticised shot selection of NZ batsmen a couple years back, Mcullum got defensive and basically said he should keep quiet cause hes an old player and not in the mix. Being "Humble" Brendan. You should try it sometime. It actually makes you a better player believe it or not.

Posted by Tatey59 on (December 22, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Fabulous article Martin Crowe - a wonderful read and also a great story; I have always liked Ross Taylor - his personality comes across in the way he performs and in his whole demeanour on a cricket field. Not sure of I've got this quote correct - they say form can come and go but class remains.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

What a nice insight Martin. As well written as the sage advice dispensed to your protoge. And Ross' success underpins the benefit of. His innings have been a pleasure to watch and save for a few early chances his batting has been sublime and a larger part of the team's success. Well done Mr Crowe and particularly Ross. While I wasn't a fan of the issue being played out in public I felt the lack of honesty and dignity afforded Ross by Hesson and co was nothing short of shocking. Pleased to see Ross acting like an adult and recommitting to the team with his talents which are world class.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Yeah.Taylor is aruably the best batsman for New zealand

Posted by satkaru1 on (December 22, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

WoW. What an Article! Just shows what great characters both Ross and Martin are. Martin.. this applies to many people who struggle with painful experiences and your pointers to identify self and to enjoy themselves to live in the moment will help many. I am one for sure. Thank You. It is always great to see Ross succeed. We can easily see how good natured individual Ross is. His humble attitiude will definitely take him places..

Posted by 22many on (December 22, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

@sher-sher...I think you will find that Taylor was not only trying to lead the team but he was being undermined by others.. .. Trent Woodhills comments were telling...and for what...well we have the captain they wanted and now NZC is in a position where they now have to decide what they are going to do with him in the top 6...

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

Great Article, simply loved it!!!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Adversity brings the best and is a tonic towards making oneself to rise one self above the fray. Essential and recommended reading!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

Absolutely wonderfully l and amazingly crafted piece by the great MC... This article has boosted everyone as like RT... just beautiful written with so much detail and analytic adding soul and heart into it by MC.... no words... if not NZC then ICC should start looking for greats like MC to take advantage of such precious and vast knowledge of MC to grow the game more. and i think... BCCI should approach MC to nurture best raw cricket in world... Indian cricket.. i m looking it as an Indian.. last but not least... RT . u r top class cricketer of world and best of NZ... love u as human.... u superb.. carry on ur superb work.. looking forward to see India vs Nz coming up.. will see you in hamiltion for sure...

Posted by sheru-sher on (December 22, 2013, 18:32 GMT)

This is an absolute gem of an article from MC. You helped RT out of a situation that weaker persons would have gone downhill. I saw part of the series in the West Indies and wondered where RT's batting skills had gone .I am not wondering now because they are back. he can only get better from here.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

Another brilliant, right from the heart article Martin. Wonder why you wouldn't write fiction!

Posted by Haz95 on (December 22, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

Taylor is such an underrated Batsmen...He is apart of a weak team which is why his performances aren't like Kohlis, De Villiers and etc.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Things happen for a reason sometimes. Like when West Indies were on the verge of a series whitewash in the Caribbean against England, Brian Lara set a new world record which erased memory of that miserable tour. Regardless of his poor form in previous games during that same series, the pride of Caribbean people was lifted to new heights (they cared not about losing the series).

For Ross taylor, it was the same. After suffering defeat time after time, there needed a miracle. it would be for his own good. To prevent him from plunging into despair and self regret forever. His new found form would be enough to calm the anger of the masses down south.

If these events had not taken place for both captains, I believe that they'd be hating themselves to death. Miracles bring change.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 15:28 GMT)

Superb article. Articulate, analytic, and also written from the heart. Agree with many other comments, why has NZC allowed such a great cricketer and cricket analyst to be so under utilized. So disappointing that MDC has not been given more opportunity by NZC. Also great to see Ross Taylor move on from the shameful debacle of a year ago and produce some wonderful cricket with the bat.

Posted by shane-oh on (December 22, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

I felt for Ross after the Hesson debacle and I still do. I also have my doubts about McCullum's place in the test team. But I don't think there is anything to gain by continuing to squabble about it. It's clear McCullum and especially Taylor have moved on, which is a good thing for the team. I'm excited about watching the next 5 years or more of Ross's career - as he hits the peak time for batsmen. I now have no doubt he will become our best ever, and from reading this Martin Crowe will be happy to see it. Martin, although in the past you have been known as a divisive character, I thank you for doing what you have done for Ross, and I thank you for this story, which was incredible to read.

Posted by abyrao on (December 22, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

Great article, Martin Crowe undoubtedly NZs Best batsmen so far. Remember his creative and innovative ideas that nearly got NZ the 92 World Cup. His chemistry with Taylor is a blessing. Back Stabber McCullum should hand his head in shame after Taylors recent performance. But one positive from that back stab is Taylor has emerged more stronger.

Posted by KingOwl on (December 22, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Absolutely brilliant to read such a personal note on Ross Taylor. I liked RT before, but I like him even more now. After SL, NZ is now my second favourite team.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Crowe writes simply and honestly. Good for fans now learning about the game.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

Wonderful piece, well done MC. I'm sitting here in Nepal, where I work much of the year, but it is easy to follow the Black Caps anywhere these days... well, get the news, yes, but supporting them has been arduous until recently. RT's return to form has been wonderful and it is no surprise MC has been part of that. If the 17 centuries is past I'm sure you will both enjoy a good glass of red together, well deserved. Vale to you both...

Posted by ospriet on (December 22, 2013, 10:34 GMT)

Brilliant piece, nice to see Rossco smashing it again

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (December 22, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Having had the priviledge of meeting the guy, albeit for 15 mins only, he is humble down to earth and just a regular next door guy. The story is very well written and captures this very nicely. Donot know about his captaincy abilities, but surely he is in NZ's top 3......Wish all the luck to a real nice guy and hope he reaches his full potential....GO Rossco - from ur indian fan...:)

Posted by DJRNZ on (December 22, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

I recall McCullum on the radio a few years back saying that 'they stopped listening to Crowe years ago' Just maybe if he had a change of attitude he'd be putting in world class performances and not having people calling for him to be sacked from the test team. I think Crowe could teach him a thing or two about patience and application.

Posted by DJRNZ on (December 22, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Crowe needs to me be involved with NZ cricket. He is not just technically the best batsmen we ever had he has learned many lessons about how to deal with all cricket throws at you professionally and personally. Crowe joining Shane Bond and John Wright as coach would be a dream team of NZ cricket for me.

Posted by regofpicton on (December 22, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Ross Taylor is a genuinely great player, and yet still improving. Even before the West Indies series it was such a pleasure to read ball by ball commentaries on cricinfo of Taylor batting with some of the young players in Bangladesh, helping them to get the best out of themselves and constanly pushing them to improve. Which is another way of saying that he constantly showed true leadership, another of the great strengths of his game.

Posted by Snowbadger15 on (December 22, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

a absolutely superb article, if only the Taylor was not our only batsmen to listen to you if our batting would be high quality. I know McCullum doesn't respect Crowe and I don't respect McCullum as a test batsmen. It was disappointing to read that Guptill was his only team mate that would hang with him. not many of his team mates would also spend time with him at the crease due to poor batting. @ kiwicricketnut McCullums lack of respect for him would mean that would never happen and it is more likely that McCullum will be dropped from tests before that would happen. Crowe should also mentor Williamson so he and Taylor can build big partnerships after both working with Crowe and if they can be successful, then we can climb up the rankings.

Posted by cricketcritic on (December 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

Go Ross, you are the man! Without wishing to downplay your hard work and great skill I believe this incredible purple patch of yours' also demonstrates the power of Karma

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 7:31 GMT)

nice story!!!Thank u for sharing

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 7:21 GMT)

Encouraging lessons, not just for cricket, but for life. "The best is yet to be" for Ross Taylor.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

I like his batting and enjoy when he plays well I am seeing him since - 2007 when he first came to the international scene.

Posted by Kasunliya9 on (December 22, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

My 2 favorite batsmen of New Zealand. I always thought Martin never reached his potential during his career now Taylor. I had lost my hopes on him which conceived when he made his debut against us SL. But now he expresses his true self sooner than later! he has a good 7-8 years more to achieve anything.... be hungrier,stronger,practice harder to go beyond 150 i strongly believe that Taylor can hit 20 more tons with @ least 5 doubles... Make Hay When The Sun Is Shining!

Posted by AjaySridharan on (December 22, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Always love a story like this... humbling, human and inspiring. Thanks for sharing Martin. Hope Ross Taylor goes on to provide many more great innings. Looking forward to India's tour of NZ

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (December 22, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

it would be great if crowe could be part of the coaching set up but it realistically couldn't happen till after the world cup, even then i don't think he would want too but nz cricket needs its best cricket thinkers and technicians teaching the new breed, the results with taylor speak for themselves, if he could get simalar results with our other batters we would be a force to be reckoned with. crowe as batting coach with bond as bowling coach is a dream pairing, sadly i think it will remain just that, a dream.

Posted by hokeypokey on (December 22, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

Ross Taylor is a honest harder worker..congratulations to him on getting to a higher form of performance, after dealing with such a guttless saking by hesson/white , taylor can certainly hold his head high for his performance, honesty and for being the better person..

Posted by daBro on (December 22, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

Another superbly crafted article

Posted by hogan11 on (December 22, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

Thanks Martin, like one of your innings (and Taylor's) I didn't want it to end.

Posted by tickcric on (December 22, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

Crowe is in tremendous form. Another top article from him. Shame that I missed most of his career to infancy!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Martin Crowe needs to come into the set up at New Zealand Cricket, sooner rather than later. Taylor, mentored by Crowe our best NZ batsmen to date. Brendon McCullum mentored by Craig McMillan. Go figure. Few batsmen and coaching staff take note of Graeme Swann and fall on your own sword.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

loved it Martin...you simply mesmerize with your fluid writing just like the beauty of your batting

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