England in New Zealand 2012-13 February 6, 2013

Tough for Taylor to return - Hadlee

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Sir Richard Hadlee has questioned Ross Taylor's response to his sacking as New Zealand captain and believes he should have played on after the fall-out rather than take time away from the game.

Taylor, who was relieved of the captaincy after the Sri Lanka tour despite drawing the Test series 1-1, opted out of the following trip to South Africa saying he needed a break from the international game. He will return to the New Zealand side for the Twenty20 series against England which starts on Saturday and is also in the one-day squad. Barring any dramatic change in events, he will resume his Test career next month.

In Taylor's absence, New Zealand were crushed in the Tests against South Africa, including being bowled out for 45 in Cape Town, and also lost the Twenty20 series, although they fought back impressively to take the one-day contest.

Hadlee, while sympathising with the poor handling of the situation, would have preferred to see Taylor move on quickly from losing the leadership and return to the ranks immediately.

"I find it very interesting how Taylor reacted. In some ways I'm a little disappointed that Taylor decided to exile himself for a period of time," Hadlee told ESPNcricinfo. "If you fall off the horse you get back on it, and I can't imagine an All Black rugby player who was captain then was replaced not make himself available to play again as soon as possible.

"Clearly Taylor had been affected in some way and needed to get his mind right. It was his call, but I'm not sure it was good thing because when he gets back into the side it's going to be quite an uneasy period for him, and other team-mates, knowing that he walked away."

Hadlee, though, added his voice to those unimpressed by the handling of the whole situation, which saw Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, tell Taylor before the Test series in Sri Lanka he wanted a change of captain but, it later emerged, only in the limited-overs formats. Taylor has recently met with Hesson for the first time since losing his position and is ready to move on, though he admitted that the relationship will take time to develop.

"There were clearly mixed messages, which have been well documented," Hadlee said. "Taylor had clearly been hurt and offended, perhaps not so much by the decision but how it came about because it was done before the first Test. That decision should have been made in the review after the tour."

Hadlee would have been comfortable if New Zealand had gone down the split-captaincy route now used by England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. But, despite the circumstances of the change, he sees Brendon McCullum as someone with the right qualities to lead New Zealand and does not think he should be judged too harshly on the Test performances.

"At the moment Brendon McCullum is doing all forms and clearly struggling in the Test team, but I think that is more to do with resources available rather than issues with him personally," he said. "He has shown his true colours, especially as a leader, in the one-day format so that is pretty encouraging."

Of greater concern for McCullum, according to Hadlee, is that he works out what sort of batsman he wants to be in the longer format. After being elevated to opener, partly due to the lack of other options as much as his suitability for the position, he has largely shelved his natural attacking game to try and set a more cautious tone for his team-mates but that may not be making best use of his ability.

"The big problem Brendon is facing at the moment is how he, himself, plays the game as a batsman. Does he open or drop down the order? Does he play aggressively, take high risks, which if he fails can set a bad example or take a more circumspect role that goes against his instincts? He's caught in between with how he should play but that is what the selectors have left the left him with."

Although McCullum will have Taylor back to boost his batting order against England, another of New Zealand's most destructive players remains unavailable. Jesse Ryder, who has not played for New Zealand since being dropped for disciplinary reasons during the one-day series against South Africa last year, will not resume his international career in the near future despite a prolific domestic season.

Ryder will continue with the plan drawn up in the wake of his latest problems with authority last year and play a full season for Wellington before taking up his IPL deal with Delhi Daredevils. Hadlee, who had a close association with Ryder when he was chairman of selectors, hopes to see him back in the set-up but says that no more controversies can be tolerated.

"When Jesse is ready to come back that will be great for our game, but the most important thing he needs to do is obey a set of rules and protocols," Hadlee said. "If you are going to break them it doesn't set a very good example, if Jesse can get away with things. We can't have any more controversy. If he's willing and able to do that he'll be a great asset to our game."

Sir Richard Hadlee was promoting Sky Sports' year of live cricket, which includes England v New Zealand, back to back Ashes, ICC Champions Trophy and live county matches

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BnH1985Fan on February 6, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    You can't question Sir Hadlee's logic. One has to rise above personal issues for the sake of playing for their country. NZ needed him more than ever in SA, although everyone will agree it would not have made any difference to the outcome. But how many players can rise above personal issues, put things like what happened to Ross (unceremonious dumping) behind, and play like nothing happened? Not too many most will agree. I think Ross has the chance to make things better for himself and more importantly, for NZ. Many great players have played well thanks to not having the burden of captaincy on their head. Perhaps that is Ross's fate too. In any event, Ross, "Kia waimarie" (good luck) and hope you will bring respectability back to NZ cricket.

  • jsolanki on February 7, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Great respect for Sir Hadlee, but he needs to consider the treatment of players. Players needed to be treated correctly so they treat the team and officials correctly. It is also necessary for officials to be diplomatic in how they handle certain sensitive things in team sports.You are dealing with a team and not an individual,so how you deal with one person in a team reflects how you will deal with the others in future.This will affect how the team reacts to the officials.Its sad how the nz officials have been handling the team in the past few years,& something definitely needs to be done about it.But players also need to learn how not to hold officials at ransom!Get your house in order quickly NZ...Please!Us Supporters are also suffering!

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on February 7, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    ok ronchi just as a batsmen. need some class in that kiwi lineup

  • on February 7, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Being a bit harsh on Watling there Maxy, He was one of the very few that showed an ounce of class in the tests over there!

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on February 7, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    i agree vettori back, ross back and luke ronchi to be the wicket keeper/batsmen. things are looking up fot the kiwis

  • Aren789 on February 7, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Ross Taylor is a great player and he is extremely flexible to adapt any situations. I am confident that he will overcome all issues and perform for New Zealand.

    We have heard many times that the greats come and comment something and the players will do exactly the opposite. I want Ross Taylor to perform extremely well and put a pull stop for all these negative comments. I wish him good luck.

  • xylo on February 6, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    I am sure NZC can get fresh talent to replace Ross Taylor... oh wait, they cannot. One has to realize that Ross Taylor took time off to recollect himself and refocus... unlike KP on disciplinary grounds. I don't see the point of playing in the team while mentally you do not want to, and appreciate Ross' honesty in that regard.

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on February 6, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    whats wrong with hadlee.. may be he had an dose of regular takings.. ross is such a good player he can walk in any test, odi or t20 team around the world.. whats nz afterall....there are very few in the world cricket who are capable of playing in the 3 formats (to name few watson, dhoni, hafeez, sanga, jayawardene, peterson, clerke, starc and ofcouse ROSS..etc..)

  • karthiksuhas on February 6, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    England are clear favourites, but it can be damaged by Ross taylor!!! e just adds gr8 value for the team...

  • 6pack on February 6, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    If KP can come back to the English side and have a seemingly decent transition into the team, so can Taylor. This is absurd from Hadlee... with all due respect.

  • BnH1985Fan on February 6, 2013, 0:44 GMT

    You can't question Sir Hadlee's logic. One has to rise above personal issues for the sake of playing for their country. NZ needed him more than ever in SA, although everyone will agree it would not have made any difference to the outcome. But how many players can rise above personal issues, put things like what happened to Ross (unceremonious dumping) behind, and play like nothing happened? Not too many most will agree. I think Ross has the chance to make things better for himself and more importantly, for NZ. Many great players have played well thanks to not having the burden of captaincy on their head. Perhaps that is Ross's fate too. In any event, Ross, "Kia waimarie" (good luck) and hope you will bring respectability back to NZ cricket.

  • jsolanki on February 7, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Great respect for Sir Hadlee, but he needs to consider the treatment of players. Players needed to be treated correctly so they treat the team and officials correctly. It is also necessary for officials to be diplomatic in how they handle certain sensitive things in team sports.You are dealing with a team and not an individual,so how you deal with one person in a team reflects how you will deal with the others in future.This will affect how the team reacts to the officials.Its sad how the nz officials have been handling the team in the past few years,& something definitely needs to be done about it.But players also need to learn how not to hold officials at ransom!Get your house in order quickly NZ...Please!Us Supporters are also suffering!

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on February 7, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    ok ronchi just as a batsmen. need some class in that kiwi lineup

  • on February 7, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Being a bit harsh on Watling there Maxy, He was one of the very few that showed an ounce of class in the tests over there!

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on February 7, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    i agree vettori back, ross back and luke ronchi to be the wicket keeper/batsmen. things are looking up fot the kiwis

  • Aren789 on February 7, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Ross Taylor is a great player and he is extremely flexible to adapt any situations. I am confident that he will overcome all issues and perform for New Zealand.

    We have heard many times that the greats come and comment something and the players will do exactly the opposite. I want Ross Taylor to perform extremely well and put a pull stop for all these negative comments. I wish him good luck.

  • xylo on February 6, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    I am sure NZC can get fresh talent to replace Ross Taylor... oh wait, they cannot. One has to realize that Ross Taylor took time off to recollect himself and refocus... unlike KP on disciplinary grounds. I don't see the point of playing in the team while mentally you do not want to, and appreciate Ross' honesty in that regard.

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on February 6, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    whats wrong with hadlee.. may be he had an dose of regular takings.. ross is such a good player he can walk in any test, odi or t20 team around the world.. whats nz afterall....there are very few in the world cricket who are capable of playing in the 3 formats (to name few watson, dhoni, hafeez, sanga, jayawardene, peterson, clerke, starc and ofcouse ROSS..etc..)

  • karthiksuhas on February 6, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    England are clear favourites, but it can be damaged by Ross taylor!!! e just adds gr8 value for the team...

  • 6pack on February 6, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    If KP can come back to the English side and have a seemingly decent transition into the team, so can Taylor. This is absurd from Hadlee... with all due respect.

  • 6pack on February 6, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    I have great respect for Sir Hadlee, but the way Taylor was handled... I have no doubt he did the right thing.., any man with an ounce of pride would have done the same. So, NZ should be grateful that their best cricketer (at present) is actually coming back... it'll make them that much more competitive.

  • 22many on February 6, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    Sir Richard Taylor didnt abandon the team....if you recall Hesson and his two gutless henchmen went to his room before the first test and wanted him to hand over the reins there and then. He didnt which would have surprised these guys.(who I believe were sent by those higher up the rung). Then apparently Hesson went back the next night on his own for another go and whenTaylor again refused to hand over the captaincy he (Hesson) said he was going to give his recommendation to his boss(Buccannon) when he arrived the following day. I still wonder what that recommendation was that Hesson made to Buccannon that following day....funny but Buccannon made his recommendation to the board after the tour and that was Taylor for all forms..Heeson and co overalled HIS boss and got their man McCullum (and he knew nothing about all this...the nose grows longer) But Sir Richard back to your Taylor abandoning the team....he could have walked there and then but didnt..stayed and won a test..hadlee like

  • on February 6, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    The points that Sir Richard unfortunately misses is that Mike Hesson had already made it a "personal issue" by high-handed and inept handling and that no All Black captain who had almost single-handedly won an important test would ever be subjected to the kind of treatment meted out to Ross Taylor. I'm certain that had Mr Hesson been possessed of any leadership qualities or man-management skills, he would have sat down in private with Ross Taylor the minute he was informed that he would get the job as National coach, told him that his opinion as coach was that the captaincy should be split between the formats and asked Ross Taylor for his opinions as the incumbent captain. Then a mutually acceptable outcome might have been negotiated.

  • on February 6, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Sir Hadlee is wrong in stating "he fell off the horse". No sir, he was kicked off the horse through no fault of his own. He made his move then. It is upto NZ cricket to take him back or not!

  • SamRoy on February 6, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Mike Hesson never played first class cricket. And he is coaching a test team. NZC are mad to have given him a coaching contract in the first place.

  • gnanzcupid on February 6, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    the team for the future should be built around people like ross.His service to the nz cricket is the need of the hour

  • tententen on February 6, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    hadlee was just talking not writing i guess... he was talking reflexively rather than mindfully

  • gnanzcupid on February 6, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    rossy is a class act. his short time away from the team has caused downfalls for the team. no longer should he be kept out of the team.We need you ross. Stand and deliver

  • cloudmess on February 6, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    They should get rid of Mike Hesson now. They won't, but NZ cricket cannot go forward until they do. He is to NZ what Peter Moores was to England 2007 - 9 - wholly manufactured, coaching by soundbite rather than by real wisdom and insight, and obviously out of his depth at the highest level.

  • bobbo2 on February 6, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    I think McCullum is the man for the job. He'll come good with the bat. Before we won the test in Sri Lanka most people thought a change of captain was the right move. But they did the whole thing poorly. I have no issue with Taylor taking a break. Let's get on with it. No need for past players to dig up the issue again. We have some good talent there with Taylor, Ryder, Vettori, Southee and Ronchi to come into the squad.

  • ozwriter on February 6, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    sir hadlee has lost the plot. you can't compare cricket and All Blacks. taylor was right in giving Hesson the message in the only way feasible.

  • 12th_man on February 6, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    I think Ross Taylor was within his rights to take a break after being shafted. It's not the fact that he lost the captaincy, its the way it was done which needed fixing. What has Hesson achieved as a coach in the long forms of the game? Oh that's right he coached Kenya. I don't think RT would have made a difference in S.A, the way the are playing now we still would have lost. As for the All Black analogy, well if you haven't noticed we aren't number one test team in the world with a healthy level of competition for team spots. Sir Richard, stick to what you do best and teach the art of bowling. I hope a strong and healthy Martin Crowe can do the same for young batsman. I would also like to see Northern, Central and Southern teams play in the Australian competition.

  • creekeetman on February 6, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @ simoc... completely agree with you man.

    hadlee's comments lacked thought, and were even a bit ignorant.

  • Simoc on February 6, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    B McCullum can only be justified in a test team as a wicketkeeper/ batsman. He is an eye batsmen, meaning his technique is lacking the quality of his eyesight. As his sight goes off so does his batting. It's happening now. But at present only Taylor(sometimes Guptill) is of test quality. Taylor is world class, no-one else is. He was learning to be a captain when a certain know-all called Hesson came along.

  • Sports4Youth on February 6, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    Hadlee has lost his head. Taylor is NZ best batsman. They cannot do without him. In Taylors absense Brendon could not cope with the pessure. Taylor can just walk into the team whenever he wants.

    I think Hadlee is trying to play mind games with Taylor.

    .

  • emmersonne on February 6, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Am I the only one who followed this link from the Women's World Cup story and wondered for a moment why Sarah Taylor was playing for the Black Caps? No? Just me? Think I need another cup of coffee.

  • 22many on February 6, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Sadly your comments are not fitting of your stature in the game. You bought honesty and integrity and sportsmanship to our game,something I respected. Hesson, McCullum,White, Moller, manager and batting coach have none of that and should all be held accountable for what went down. Someone like yourself should see that it does for the sake of NZC. Is Shane Bond telling BS?

  • vallavarayar on February 6, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    What tripe is Hadlee spouting? The present NZ side is short of 3 or 4 international class batters. Ross Taylor can slot in nicely.

  • Glenn10 on February 6, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Gee I miss Paddles! Not his comments but his bowling. Paddles wasn't the best as a captain, coach, journalist or selector but boy we could do with him playing now. He was a once in a generation (maybe lifetime) player. Maybe young Tim can step up. He's the nearest we've got to the great man and at the same age they are close in talent and record. It was about aged 24 Paddles set himself apart from the rest. As for Taylor... Paddles, he got shafted worse than any All Black Captain, so you can't compare it He'll come back because Hessen will be kissing his a..? Anyway what Hessen tells Taylor will be a waste of breath. Test Cricket is about individual performances and statistics. Just ask Paddles.

  • zenboomerang on February 6, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Hadlee :- "At the moment Brendon McCullum is doing all forms and clearly struggling in the Test team"... So why is he the captain? - he isn't close to being the best batsman atm & doesn't even know how to handle his own game let alone the teams in Test cricket...

  • SamRoy on February 6, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    McCullum and Guptill can be dropped from the test team. More importantly, Hesson needs to be booted out.

  • SilverDarkHorse on February 6, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Sir Hadlee is just stirring up the hornets' nest.

  • rienzied on February 6, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    The coach hasn't played any first class cricket,,comes from Dunedin, best mates with maccalum , and made a decisinn to,remove Taylor from the T20 and odi captaincy. Taylor has not been well treated, something smells funny when Hadlee comes out in favour of the coach?

  • Min2000 on February 6, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    On the surface Taylor's decision not to tour might seem selfish but let's not forget what happened before he made that call. Hesson told him in Sri Lanka that he was going to be dumped as skipper. Then after Taylor's match-winning performance Hesson frantically back-peddled and lied about the whole affair. The whole incident was utterly bizarre!

    Can you really blame Taylor for calling time out?

  • krishna_j on February 6, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    i wonder what would be your reaction if you were in a similar mention as Ross - though you never aspired for captaincy - you were demoted and was made first change to Ewen Chatfiled and Danny Morrison

  • Patchmaster on February 6, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    How I wish Sir Richard would take charge of our NZ team. Please please please someone offer him the job !

  • corzaNZ on February 6, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    So its alright for Ryder to take time away for himself and come back when ready but not Taylor?????

  • TeamSelector on February 6, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    What the heck, I say let's give Jesse a shot @ the captaincy. It might actually calm him down a wee bit. Nah ... but seriously, I think Roscoe was doing a pretty darn good job as captain. Not quite sure why he was replaced in the first place. As far as Baz goes, I don't quite see him as captaincy material. I wonder who's next in line for the captaincy if we take take both Ross & Brendon out of the equation ???

  • Jordanious77 on February 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Sir Hadlee, you are a bit behind on the ball game. Would have been better to come out a few months, even weeks ago. But we are currently about to start a new tour. You always new Taylor was going to come back to play against England, this could have been made at any time..

    This is the exact same thing Hesson did isn't it? your judgement, in all honesty doesn't seem any better.

    Not that this really matters anyhow, but it's just stirring the pot when people are finally ready to move on and hope to beat a good english team.

  • Alexk400 on February 5, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    He is only good player in whole of nz and nice person. NZ cricket board treated him badly

  • Alexk400 on February 5, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    He is only good player in whole of nz and nice person. NZ cricket board treated him badly

  • Jordanious77 on February 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Sir Hadlee, you are a bit behind on the ball game. Would have been better to come out a few months, even weeks ago. But we are currently about to start a new tour. You always new Taylor was going to come back to play against England, this could have been made at any time..

    This is the exact same thing Hesson did isn't it? your judgement, in all honesty doesn't seem any better.

    Not that this really matters anyhow, but it's just stirring the pot when people are finally ready to move on and hope to beat a good english team.

  • TeamSelector on February 6, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    What the heck, I say let's give Jesse a shot @ the captaincy. It might actually calm him down a wee bit. Nah ... but seriously, I think Roscoe was doing a pretty darn good job as captain. Not quite sure why he was replaced in the first place. As far as Baz goes, I don't quite see him as captaincy material. I wonder who's next in line for the captaincy if we take take both Ross & Brendon out of the equation ???

  • corzaNZ on February 6, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    So its alright for Ryder to take time away for himself and come back when ready but not Taylor?????

  • Patchmaster on February 6, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    How I wish Sir Richard would take charge of our NZ team. Please please please someone offer him the job !

  • krishna_j on February 6, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    i wonder what would be your reaction if you were in a similar mention as Ross - though you never aspired for captaincy - you were demoted and was made first change to Ewen Chatfiled and Danny Morrison

  • Min2000 on February 6, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    On the surface Taylor's decision not to tour might seem selfish but let's not forget what happened before he made that call. Hesson told him in Sri Lanka that he was going to be dumped as skipper. Then after Taylor's match-winning performance Hesson frantically back-peddled and lied about the whole affair. The whole incident was utterly bizarre!

    Can you really blame Taylor for calling time out?

  • rienzied on February 6, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    The coach hasn't played any first class cricket,,comes from Dunedin, best mates with maccalum , and made a decisinn to,remove Taylor from the T20 and odi captaincy. Taylor has not been well treated, something smells funny when Hadlee comes out in favour of the coach?

  • SilverDarkHorse on February 6, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Sir Hadlee is just stirring up the hornets' nest.

  • SamRoy on February 6, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    McCullum and Guptill can be dropped from the test team. More importantly, Hesson needs to be booted out.