New Zealand news June 21, 2011

Ross Taylor named New Zealand captain

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Ross Taylor's prolific run-scoring during his time as New Zealand's stand-in captain was a major factor in him beating Brendon McCullum for the full-time job. Taylor has been named as the captain in all three formats and the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) hierarchy believes he will operate in a similar style to his predecessor Daniel Vettori, who led by example, with minimal fuss.

Taylor, 27, was preferred over McCullum after being interviewed by a three-man panel consisting of the coach John Wright, the director of cricket John Buchanan and the acting national selection manager Mark Greatbatch. The decision took nearly three months following the side's return from the World Cup, where Vettori stepped down after the semi-final loss to Sri Lanka, and a vice-captain is unlikely to be named until the squad to tour Zimbabwe in September is announced.

Greatbatch said Taylor had won out in part due to his success in as captain, having led the side to six victories from 14 ODIs and Twenty20s, compared to McCullum's two wins from nine games in charge. Taylor has also batted well while at the helm, averaging 46.45 across both formats, while McCullum's mark as captain is 26.22.

"They're both great Kiwis and good lads who have played for their country for a long time now," Greatbatch told Radio Sport. "We had to make a tough decision and we've done that. I'm sure Ross will lead his country well. They were both very good candidiates. They've both had experience as vice-captain under Dan.

"Both by nature are very good tactically and aggressive characters. Brendon might show it a bit more than Ross, but Ross is very competitive. He's had the recent experience. He beat Australia and Pakistan recently as captain of New Zealand. He's a good listener. His own game has improved as captain. He's got a better record as captain than as a player. Those sorts of things were taken into consideration."

It will be a tough ask following the popular Vettori, who at one point was a selector as well as captain and the team's best player. However, Greatbatch said Taylor was likely to lead in a similar manner to Vettori - from the front, with more emphasis on leading by example than delivering fire-and-brimstone motivational speeches.

"He wasn't that forceful to the players," Greatbatch said of Vettori. "From his own form himself as a player he demanded excellence, because he was a pretty useful performer worldwide for us. I think Ross will be similar. He'll be looking for his own game to be tip-top as often as he can, to be consistent. That to me is the biggest way to lead. If a captain can lead from the front with his own performance, then a lot of people follow."

Taylor conceded that he was "very quiet" and preferred to speak with individuals rather than larger groups, but said he was confident he could steer the side in the right direction. Taylor led the New Zealanders twice at the World Cup, where they went within one victory of making the final, and he said his challenge was to help them perform to a similar level in Test cricket.

"I was very happy with the way we played in the World Cup and the fighting spirit we showed," Taylor said. "We've been very inconsistent in the Test arena and we probably haven't played as well as we would have liked. Each individual has to step up and commit to training hard and working hard as a team. We need to bat long periods of time with the bat and get 20 wickets. If we don't do those two things very well then we're going to struggle.

"Test cricket is still the ultimate for me. I look forward to playing Test cricket. Some other people may differ, but for me Test cricket is still the ultimate and where I want to get the most out of myself and the team. Once that happens, one-day cricket and Twenty20 is also in there as well."

Taylor learnt of NZC's decision while he was making preparations for his upcoming wedding, and he described it as "a great honour" to be installed as the captain. He said he was also hoping that his promotion might encourage more young players from Polynesian and Maori backgrounds to take up cricket.

"I missed the phone call from John Buchanan," he said. "I was trying to pick wedding songs for this coming Saturday. I had the music going a bit too loud. When it came through my partner was very happy and the first phone call was to Mum and Dad.

"I'm very proud of my Samoan heritage," he added. "With this role, not only playing for New Zealand but captaining, hopefully I can inspire some more Polynesians and Maoris to this game of cricket. They're very talented athletes and I'm sure it's an untapped market. You never know, in ten years' time there could be a few more."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 23, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    @Gagg: Thanks for the reply. You learn something everyday! :)

  • Ahsan_Shere on June 23, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    Congrats Ross! Once New Zealand choose a captain they stick to him Fleming captained almost 10 years. Vettori was not even sacked after 4-0 thrashing at the hands of minnows Bangladesh. So, I see you as a New Zealand captain for the next decade or so.

  • StevieS on June 22, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    SRT_GENIUS there are more Samoans in NZ than Samoa so no need for him to go there to promote it. kilikiti is very popular amoungst Samoans, it is a form of cricket but cricket itself isn't very popular.

  • muski on June 22, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Taylor will NOT make a difference to Kiwi Cricket. Now doubt he is a talented and charismatic guy. However, the team is going the Windies way- One way- right under competing with Bangladesh. They have too many bits and pieces cricketers to really make an impact on Top Test Teams. Hats off to Vettori. He reminds me of Lara. Inspite of ordinary mortals around him, match after match for all these years he has put his best foot forward without getting frustrated. World cricket will miss you Dan- All the best to you.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 22, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    @Freddie Woodworth : Didn't realize Ross was part Samoan (I thought Maori). Good to know. Just curious- how popular is cricket in Samoa ? I would imagine they can produe fast bowlers by dozen. Maybe they can invite Ross to promote cricket in Samoa ?

  • adamgilchrist14 on June 21, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    Daniel Vettori is much better option in my opinion because he is more experienced. It is like the Australian selection how Ricky Ponting was more older than Clarkey

  • howizzat on June 21, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Ross Taylor is best choice, the NZ management has made. Mr. Taylor can sticth the team well to reach new highs. Brendon also will benifit from this as he can concentrate on his batting and bat more freely. Well done NZ. Hats off to you.

  • yuva19 on June 21, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    NZC is cornered they really dont have ny other option.Except Dan all NZ players r inconsistent, consistency really matters in test arena.

  • StevieS on June 21, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    And when are we going to replace Justin Vaughn? Any other profession he would of got the sack years ago.

  • K.A.K on June 21, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Way to go! Now go out and play more cricket NZ.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 23, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    @Gagg: Thanks for the reply. You learn something everyday! :)

  • Ahsan_Shere on June 23, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    Congrats Ross! Once New Zealand choose a captain they stick to him Fleming captained almost 10 years. Vettori was not even sacked after 4-0 thrashing at the hands of minnows Bangladesh. So, I see you as a New Zealand captain for the next decade or so.

  • StevieS on June 22, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    SRT_GENIUS there are more Samoans in NZ than Samoa so no need for him to go there to promote it. kilikiti is very popular amoungst Samoans, it is a form of cricket but cricket itself isn't very popular.

  • muski on June 22, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Taylor will NOT make a difference to Kiwi Cricket. Now doubt he is a talented and charismatic guy. However, the team is going the Windies way- One way- right under competing with Bangladesh. They have too many bits and pieces cricketers to really make an impact on Top Test Teams. Hats off to Vettori. He reminds me of Lara. Inspite of ordinary mortals around him, match after match for all these years he has put his best foot forward without getting frustrated. World cricket will miss you Dan- All the best to you.

  • SRT_GENIUS on June 22, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    @Freddie Woodworth : Didn't realize Ross was part Samoan (I thought Maori). Good to know. Just curious- how popular is cricket in Samoa ? I would imagine they can produe fast bowlers by dozen. Maybe they can invite Ross to promote cricket in Samoa ?

  • adamgilchrist14 on June 21, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    Daniel Vettori is much better option in my opinion because he is more experienced. It is like the Australian selection how Ricky Ponting was more older than Clarkey

  • howizzat on June 21, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Ross Taylor is best choice, the NZ management has made. Mr. Taylor can sticth the team well to reach new highs. Brendon also will benifit from this as he can concentrate on his batting and bat more freely. Well done NZ. Hats off to you.

  • yuva19 on June 21, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    NZC is cornered they really dont have ny other option.Except Dan all NZ players r inconsistent, consistency really matters in test arena.

  • StevieS on June 21, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    And when are we going to replace Justin Vaughn? Any other profession he would of got the sack years ago.

  • K.A.K on June 21, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    Way to go! Now go out and play more cricket NZ.

  • Sanj747 on June 21, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    The absolute right choice. A long term decision and a much better way forward than B McM.

  • CricketChat on June 21, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Ross is a better choice. McCullum's performances have come down a bit in the last 2 yrs. He must decide once and for all whether he wants to don the WK gloves or not for NZ team.

  • nzcricket174 on June 21, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    well done uce. that BMac will probably go sulking all the way back to Tonga!

  • on June 21, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Well done Ross...A proud day for all Samoans across the world, the first Samoan to ever captain a major international cricket team! Malo Lava

  • gothetaniwha on June 21, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    The right choice Taylor has matured as a player , Good to see one of the poly boys captaining the team , hopefully he can inspire some more , the thought of a Samoan 20/20 team yeah - they can all hit a ball a long way , they would beat Canada .

  • on June 21, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Ross is a good choice...be frank,NZ dont have another choice...

  • on June 21, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Good choice by NZC and good luck to Ross Taylor. He is a fantastic cricketer and I'm sure he will take NZ cricket a long way.

  • on June 21, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Took long enough for NZC's ponderous administrators. Finally some sense prevails. Captaincy is about performance, rather than persona. I can't believe the number of people that fooled by McCullum's so called attitude. The world cup was a perfect example. Flat track bully against the minnows, pussycat against the test playing countries. Taylor on the other hand led from the front in the games that really mattered. If McCullum was captain, I was going to stop following the Black Caps. Thank goodness I didn't have to take that drastic step. - Shoaib, Wellington, NZ

  • ravi_hari on June 21, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    I think Kiwis had very little choice. Rarely do we see that the battle is between two players. There is a huge gap between Vettori and others and none of them have played for as long as him continuously. Hence it is difficult to judge who is suitable to replace Vettori. Both Taylor and Mcullum and guilty of being inconsistant. Taylor was a flop in the world cup and Mcullum in tests and T20s recently. So the choice was between performance and potential. I think Ross scored because of his attitude and fitness. All the best Ross and Kiwis. Hari Ravi

  • adamgilchrist14 on June 21, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    I love Rossy but i don't want him to go he is awesome

  • ab79 on June 21, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Congratulations to Ross on being announced NZ captain..hope he steers them in a better direction...NZ needs to get players who could play for NZ for a substantially long duration of time while remaining fit...not players who plays 5 matches, then breaks down with injuries and retire at the age of 30-31..all the best

  • on June 21, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Nice Move... This is for good Selection Ross,Abde,Dilshan... Next one Kevin

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    polynesians are definitely an untapped power. naturally atheletic. if taylor influenced more to play that could only be good news

  • indianzen on June 21, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    Rosco can't be the best captain... may be a stop gap, rather than aggression, captains need cool and a good head, Dhoni... Sanga... Vettori... are respected through out the world becoz of their on-field coolness... There are no cemented bowlers in the team, becoz of which the attack is really struggling...

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    It's Very good decision.....................................

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    Good decision by NZC to make Ross Taylor as captain coz Vettori was struggling both physically and mentally...Now i can see them performing better against any opposition.Captaincy is what matters Most i believe.

  • Sammorama on June 21, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Good call NZ Cricket, although you took a ridiculous amount of time to make it. Lets hope B Mac dosn't throw his toys and continues to be a top contributer.

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Six New captains after World cup, Dilshan, Rosco, Cook, AB, Misbah, Clarke. We can just sense what WC can do. Good Luck to everybody ...

  • shooting on June 21, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    I would say the choice is probably the right one. If McCullum were to be captain, I think we would see the best from him, however goodluck to Ross Taylor. I really want to see Ryder become a top player in the world. I'm also excited to see the development of Kane Williamson in the coming years. I want to see us improve in test matches.

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Wonderful news Ross Taylor. I do think you will succeed as Black Caps new captain. A quiet type of lad with great inner strength. Perhaps a little like Daniel but that will be no loss. I'm sorry for Brendan,he is such a great cricketer when he puts his mind to it. May I say to all you Black Caps, be good sportsmen, enjoy the wonderful game of cricket and should you win then you have an extra bonus.

  • on June 21, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Right Move! Taylor seems the right choice for the job.

  • anver777 on June 21, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Ross had done reasonably well as standing captain in recent times, so i think he's the right choice for NZ captaincy at this stage !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rydham on June 21, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    It is difficult to understand NZ cricket. After the exit of Stephen fleming, I do not see any potential player as a good captain. Even Vettori was a stop gap arrangement I would say. There is no consistancy in every player's performance. Vettori, even though a bowler, has to bat to bail out the team. McCullum, a gifted player is wasting his talent by poor shot selection. Ross is a confused player due to his team's overall performance and his talent is also being wasted. He seems always in a dilemma - Play aggressive or steady !! Bowlers are just to be forgotten. Why NZ bowlers are always unfit in most of the matches ? Their top order always on a shuffling mode since 1999-2000 era. Mysterious !!

  • on June 21, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    hope that AB,DILSAHAN and ROSS bring change in their teams

  • jonesy2 on June 21, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    the challenge now is for taylor to score runs because now he has the burden of being the star batsman and el capitano. maybe he should get some wisdom from ponting. if he can score runs he will be a good captain.

  • donda on June 21, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    Good decision but this will not effect NZ cricket as they are not top contenders at all. They are and will remain a normal cricket playing nation. May be they win one or to series or tournament in next three years. Not much talent in disposal of taylor to prove his worth as captain but best of luck.

  • on June 21, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    NZ cricket finally realizing that it was time to keep up with the competition, I just hope they find the right mix of young and senior players, coz for a fact guys like Styris, Oram, Vettori still have a lot to offer NZ cricket and looks like the man to take them places could be no other than Taylor…could this be the best era in the history of NZ cricket?!?!?!?!

  • Grayim on June 21, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Cant believe there was a selection process, Taylor was the obvious choice. McCullum only wanted to be captain so he could confirm his spot in the side, his brother is better than him. Hopefully this will give Taylor more responsibility and concentrate on the team and not try and slog sweep everything to cow corner.

  • ilovetests on June 21, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Best of luck to Rosco, but I don't mind who the captain is - I just want to see this side doing well. Hopefully De Boorder and Astle get a crack in the test team and Wagner(once he qualifies) can help Southee knock over a few top orders, and the top 5 of McCullum, Guptill, Williamson, Taylor and Ryder can develop the tenacity and run-scoring hunger of the England top 5 (they've certainly got the talent). I also hope that Vettori keeps playing long enough to reach the double of 5,000 runs and 500 wickets. At least for the first time since the late 80s, NZ has more talented players than Australia, so hopefully we will start to see results.

  • on June 21, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Dont even know why there was a selection process, Taylor was such an obvious choice! McCullum wanted to be captain so he could confirm his place in the team, his brother is now better than him. Hopefully this will provide Taylor with more responsibility and to think about the team and not try to slog sweep everything to cow corner.

  • chishtyirfan on June 21, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    congratulation & wish best of luck to Ross Taylor & the team new zealand. I think he is the right person to lead new zealand after vettori. He is gonna be aggressive captain.

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    NZHerald has Taylor being named as captain, announcement due in about 20 mins according to their article.

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Ross Taylor had the potential. but I don't want a captain who is obsessed with only one are of the ground - cow corner. At least with McCullum you know there is some arrogance and aggression, and that with the captaincy he'd be more inclined to stick in there and perform better. I reckon he would rise to the pressure and it would make him a better player.

  • thenoostar on June 21, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    May the best power point presentation win

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Kiwis have always been a mediocre cricket team - doesn't matter who the captain is. The reason might be that there are no exceptional cricketers produced out of this little nation; Dan was their best hope, but he didn't do a great job of captaincy - so until the next Martin Crowe or Richard Hadlee arrives, the NZ selectors may nigh relax at their cozy palaces than break head as to who will uplift their mundane side.

  • on June 21, 2011, 1:13 GMT

    No Scotty? He is after all the senior most in the team now..

  • Impactzone on June 21, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    When a panel is asking what your thoughts are, they are really asking you to tell them what they want to hear. A panel never picks someone outside the dots.

  • .Phil. on June 21, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Personally I would prefer Brendon to become captain since he has really shown over the past 2 years that he more capable than ever as a batsman and that he has what it takes to be a very effective captain in my opinion.

    Though in saying that if Taylor gets the captaincy, it wouldn't be harmful in the least to NZ Cricket. We are quite lucky to have two great candidates.

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  • .Phil. on June 21, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Personally I would prefer Brendon to become captain since he has really shown over the past 2 years that he more capable than ever as a batsman and that he has what it takes to be a very effective captain in my opinion.

    Though in saying that if Taylor gets the captaincy, it wouldn't be harmful in the least to NZ Cricket. We are quite lucky to have two great candidates.

  • Impactzone on June 21, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    When a panel is asking what your thoughts are, they are really asking you to tell them what they want to hear. A panel never picks someone outside the dots.

  • on June 21, 2011, 1:13 GMT

    No Scotty? He is after all the senior most in the team now..

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Kiwis have always been a mediocre cricket team - doesn't matter who the captain is. The reason might be that there are no exceptional cricketers produced out of this little nation; Dan was their best hope, but he didn't do a great job of captaincy - so until the next Martin Crowe or Richard Hadlee arrives, the NZ selectors may nigh relax at their cozy palaces than break head as to who will uplift their mundane side.

  • thenoostar on June 21, 2011, 2:27 GMT

    May the best power point presentation win

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Ross Taylor had the potential. but I don't want a captain who is obsessed with only one are of the ground - cow corner. At least with McCullum you know there is some arrogance and aggression, and that with the captaincy he'd be more inclined to stick in there and perform better. I reckon he would rise to the pressure and it would make him a better player.

  • on June 21, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    NZHerald has Taylor being named as captain, announcement due in about 20 mins according to their article.

  • chishtyirfan on June 21, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    congratulation & wish best of luck to Ross Taylor & the team new zealand. I think he is the right person to lead new zealand after vettori. He is gonna be aggressive captain.

  • on June 21, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Dont even know why there was a selection process, Taylor was such an obvious choice! McCullum wanted to be captain so he could confirm his place in the team, his brother is now better than him. Hopefully this will provide Taylor with more responsibility and to think about the team and not try to slog sweep everything to cow corner.

  • ilovetests on June 21, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    Best of luck to Rosco, but I don't mind who the captain is - I just want to see this side doing well. Hopefully De Boorder and Astle get a crack in the test team and Wagner(once he qualifies) can help Southee knock over a few top orders, and the top 5 of McCullum, Guptill, Williamson, Taylor and Ryder can develop the tenacity and run-scoring hunger of the England top 5 (they've certainly got the talent). I also hope that Vettori keeps playing long enough to reach the double of 5,000 runs and 500 wickets. At least for the first time since the late 80s, NZ has more talented players than Australia, so hopefully we will start to see results.