'Hesson never supported me' - Taylor
Ross Taylor has said he was surprised by the timing of his losing the New Zealand captaincy but not by the decision itself, declaring he felt he never had the support of the coach Mike Hesson. Taylor, who on Friday was replaced as leader by Brendon McCullum, was told after the ODI series in Sri Lanka that there would be a change of captaincy after the end of the Sri Lanka tour.
On Friday, Hesson stressed that what he meant at that meeting, which was also attended by assistant coach Bob Carter and team manager Mike Sandle, was that there would be a change to the limited-overs captaincy, not the Test leadership. However, Taylor said he had been told his captaincy was not good enough and it felt clear to him that Hesson and the team management did not want him in charge at all.
"They told me I wasn't good enough as a captain, wasn't good enough for this team," Taylor told the Weekend Herald. "To hear I wasn't good enough was disappointing. It was interesting ... I was offered the Test captaincy a couple of weeks [after the Sri Lanka meeting], when it was clear to me from conversations, they didn't want me at all."
Taylor said he was not surprised by the course of events after Hesson took over from John Wright as head coach in July. "It wasn't huge shock," Taylor said. "Hesson never supported me through the whole time I'd been captain, but I was surprised by the timing."
Since taking on the captaincy full-time last year, Taylor led New Zealand to four Test wins from 13 matches, including rare victories in Australia and Sri Lanka, two wins from eight ODIs, and four victories from nine Twenty20 internationals. He conceded that he was still developing as a captain but said he had learnt a lot under Wright's coaching.
"I know I had areas to work on," Taylor said. "I was far from the finished product, but I lacked a lot of support from the management in a lot of areas, which was disappointing. Under Wrighty I was learning a lot; under Hesson, the relationship was pretty poor. I didn't think he supported me in that role."
After declining the Test captaincy this week, Taylor declared that he offered his full support to his replacement McCullum, but intended to take a break from the game. Taylor said he did not believe he could put in a complete effort under the circumstances and would return when the time was right.
"It's still fresh and raw," Taylor said. "It's been a pretty difficult five months for me. It's a chance to get away from it, spend some time with the family and have a Christmas. I don't believe I can give 100% to the game at this time. Cricket is my life and my passion. I love the game and I love playing for my country. But taking a break is the right thing for me right now."