New Zealand news

McCullum takes over as New Zealand captain

Brydon Coverdale

December 7, 2012

Comments: 142 | Text size: A | A

Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill celebrate New Zealand's win, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Colombo, 5th day, November 29, 2012
Victory in Colombo was Ross Taylor's last act as New Zealand captain © Associated Press
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Brendon McCullum has been appointed New Zealand's captain in all three formats after Ross Taylor declined an offer to stay on as leader of the Test side in a split-captaincy scenario. Taylor has also chosen to make himself unavailable for the upcoming tour of South Africa, although New Zealand are hopeful he will be back in the side for the home series against England early next year.

The confirmation of the change came at a press conference in Auckland on Friday morning where David White, the New Zealand Cricket CEO, said he regretted the way the captaincy debate had played out in the public spotlight. McCullum, who has previously led New Zealand in eight ODIs and 12 Twenty20s, will become the country's 28th Test captain when the series against South Africa begins on January 2 in Cape Town.

There had been much speculation this week about the future of Taylor since the squad returned from Sri Lanka despite their impressive series-leveling victory in Colombo. In that match Taylor, who took over as captain in 2011 after being preferred to McCullum for the role, scored 142 in the first innings, but it was one of few highlights in a disappointing year for New Zealand, whose only other victory came in the first Test of the year against Zimbabwe.

They lost Test series against South Africa, West Indies and India before the draw in Sri Lanka while they have slipped to ninth in the one-day rankings below Bangladesh. They were also knocked out in the Super Eights of the World Twenty20. It was after the review of that tournament, as well as the tours of India and Sri Lanka, that the coach Mike Hesson recommended splitting the captaincy.

"Mike Hesson proposed a split captaincy that was endorsed by me as CEO and agreed by the board," White said. "The original recommendation was for Ross Taylor to be retained as Test captain and Brendon McCullum to be short-form captain. We regret that Ross Taylor has declined the opportunity, therefore Brendon McCullum has been appointed as Black Caps captain for all three forms of the game.

"I met with Ross ... for about three hours yesterday and we considered a number of different options. One of them was ... for him to go to South Africa and even just play the Test matches if he wanted to do that. But he thought about it long and hard and he said that he would like a break and to spend time with his family and we've agreed with that and we respect that. It's not ideal and we would be a stronger team with Ross Taylor in it."

Despite the change in captaincy, White said he did not believe Taylor had lost the support of his players. "I don't believe he lost the dressing room," White said. "He is well respected."

Hesson, who took over from John Wright as New Zealand's coach in July, said he wanted Taylor to stay on as Test captain and his main concern was that the leadership in all three formats was a lot for anyone to take on. Hesson said split captaincy had worked for other countries and he believed McCullum would have been the best man for the job in the shorter formats.

"Brendon certainly reads the one-day game well and is very adaptable and changes quickly," Hesson said. "The one-day game and the T20 game move very quickly. I think Brendon McCullum has attributes to really add value to our team in that area.

"Split captaincy is something that works and with the high volume of cricket around the world at the moment, for one person to take on all three forms of the game is an extremely difficult task. It's very difficult for anybody to be up to that.

"We play ten months of the year. In terms of planning from series to series it's extremely difficult, to look after your own game and worry about that of the team. Therefore my recommendation was for Ross to stay on as Test captain and focus on that, and also focus on his batting in all three forms, and for Brendon to come in as leader of the one-day and T20 squads."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (December 9, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

Well unfortunately it seems some people are believing NZCs lies. Taylor was dumped as captain from all 3 formats, and told he was not good enough to captain his country. This happened just before a tough test series in SL. It was only once the sacking was made public (amid massive public outrage) that Hessan changed his story and said he only meant to dump him from the limited overs teams. These lies should not be tolerated.

For those that think McCullum will be a better captain - he has already captained NZ, and his record against the top 8 sides is TERRIBLE. Not to mention the disaster when he captained in the IPL. Taylor's record as captain is better than Vettori in the last couple of years of his reign, suggesting Ross has actually improved NZs performances. Probably down to his superb batting since he took charge. Just changing the captain seems a huge gamble, but how it was handled.....disgraceful

Posted by Min2000 on (December 9, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

I like to think that this side can still do well in Africa. Conditions will be tough but the wickets are pretty good to bat on. We need runs out of our top 6, which will be McCullum, Guptill, Williamson, Flynn, Watling and Brownlie. Bowlers will be Southee, Boult, Bracewell, Patel and Franklin who will bat at 7 as the all-rounder. Not a terrible XI under the circumstances.

Posted by   on (December 9, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

Only in NZ. Firstly Brendon McCullum is able to play as a batsman only, despite being a quality test keeper. He doesn't want to keep in tests (just play as a test opener, which he'll never be) so NZ Cricket lets him have his way, and brings in another keeper, one who is not a great bat.weakening NZ's batting strength. Then, again, in their infinite wisdon, NZ cricket decides to promote Mc Cullum to captain, putting the team in a position where their best batsman (Taylor) decides not to play the SA tour, so further weakening the already fragile batting strength. Looks like Mr Hesson and Mr McCullum are running NZ cricket. Good luck in SA!!

Posted by cric_lover143 on (December 8, 2012, 3:42 GMT)

Hesson argues for split captaincy.. proposed Ross for Test and Brendon for ODIs and T20s. Ross rejected it and Brendon became captain for Test, Odis & T20s... Now every body including Hesson is happy... But Mr. Hesson "where is the split captaincy in it, mate"... This is true politics. Ross is anyday better than Brendon in terms of captaincy... Kane williamson for that matter is better than Brendon for captaincy... so if they want to get rid off Ross then make Brendon or Kane for ODIs and Kane or Guptil for T20s and Kane or the one and only Chris "Phantom" Martin for Test will be ideal...

Posted by Ross_Co on (December 8, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

McCullum's a very dangerous no. 7 batsman who keeps wickets well. In every other role other than that he's not much chop regardless of delusions to the contrary from McCullum & the NZ cricket apparatus.

Posted by sirviv on (December 8, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

Such management don't deserve the incredible Ross Taylor. He has done so much from a personal perspective for the team and has laid a solid foundation. Its like bringing down a pillar and expecting the structure to withstand. Now we know for a fact the Kiwis are going to lose the series in SA. All the best to McCullum, I wouldnt know who else deserves it.

Posted by GeraldCalt on (December 7, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

This is such a bad decision. I can't believe NZ cricket have done so badly that they've succeeded in undermining and ostracising their best player (certainly their best batsman) from the hardest tour coming up. This is NZ Cricket's darkest hour.

To be honest, I'm not even sure I'd have Brendon McCullum in my team as a player (unless he was keeping wicket) and his only record as Captain is Kolkata Knight Rider's worst IPL ever.

Shame, shame, shame.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 21:42 GMT)

Let us say Brendon can rad a game well but if he can't bat well what is the point??? Right now Brendon does not know which game to play. His feet movement clearly demonstrates this.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

2012 might as well be looked back upon as the year that cricket management tried to take precedence over their countries' most exciting batsmen. West Indies with Gayle, England with Pietersen, New Zealand with both Ryder and Taylor. 2012 also saw Laxman and Dravid retire, as well as Ponting. Had it not been for Clarke and Cook, plus the three great innings from Pietersen, one would have been able to say that 2012 was an awful year for batsmen.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

So we have Hesson so concerned about the 'burden' of one person having to manage all three formats now having appointed McCullum as Captain of all three formats. How inconsistent? Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? Not! I think with John Wright recently leaving the mix and now Martin Crowe too it is all very fishy!!. It seems Justin Vaughan's last act to appoint Buchanan then leave the CEO role has thrown David White the new CEO a 'hospital pass" because it has all been "fall out' since. i love cricket, the game above all, so if NZ does badly in SA I won't be surprised or even that disappointed! You reap what you sow! And NZ seems to be sowing nothing but disharmony. I won't even go to any games in NZ this season and will just keep enjoying the test commentaries on Cric Info for all test matches!

I hope Ross Taylor can enjoy some matches for Central!!

Posted by Bring_back_Wright on (December 7, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Hesson sites only winning 5 of the last 30 ODI's as a reason to change captaincy. In Taylors 17 completed ODI's against test playing nations as captain he has won 5 (29%), 2 of which were against Zimbabwe. Over the same time (since 2010 Chapple-Hadlee) Vettori has also captained NZ to 5 wins out of 20 matches against test playing nations (25%). One of the wins was against Zim, and notably 4 of the losses were against Bangladesh. McCullum has captained NZ in 8 ODIs for 3 wins (37.5%). Not bad, but all 3 were against a poor Zimbabwe team in NZ, so his 5 matches against the top teams have all been losses. Williamson has captained NZ 3 times for one win (33.3%).

My point is it is unfair to single out Ross as a weak captain based on results - all NZ captains have done poorly in that regard, not because of poor captaincy, but because the team just isn't good enough. You can't blame Ross for the fact that the other batters can't bat (or that the coach and manager can't coach and manage)

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

Taylor lacks the mindset of a captain and so does McCullum. This was clearly evident in McCullum's short stint as captain in the second edition of the IPL in South Africa. In fact there's hardly any player in the current Kiwi lineup who can stand up for the job.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 7, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

Goodness me. Its going to be murder in the sunshine come Jan 2013. I hope SA bat first and get some good batting practice. Last thing I want is our boys chasing down miserable totals around the 200 mark and the test matches being over in 3 days. Steyn, Vernon and Morkel - fill your boots, Christmas has been extended. Kiwis have just lost their best batsman, without doubt.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 20:35 GMT)

It looks to me like NZC are saying Taylor doesn't make rapid, astute tactical decisions in T20 and ODIs, meaning NZ are losing winable positions. Looks like NZC were trying to address some of the reasons for losing (not Taylor's batting but his tactics) whilst growing him in the Test environment which is completely different tactically. Taylor is playing the wounded martyr very well, but if he can't accept his own captaincy limitations or the right of the coach to chose the captain without sulking, then he has definitely demonstrated he is not the man for the job.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

Captaincy put Taylor under a lot of pressure just like it did with many a good batsman... He should have been given better back up... McCullum from the time Taylor was appointed captain never gave a 100% for the team, and funny he get the role... Taylor should take this opportunity and get back amongst the runs and back among the best in the world where he belongs. He still has plenty to offer NZC unless Buchanan has plans to mess it up...

Posted by siddhartha87 on (December 7, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

who ever may be the captain but kiwis need at least 3 top class batsman at the moment

Posted by Nampally on (December 7, 2012, 19:31 GMT)

I am strongly in favour of split Captaincy & Mr. Hesson's move was right on. It is too much to ask the same guy to captain all 3 formats - which are all different. India is the only country which does this & is paying severe penalties. Dhoni's Test Captaincy is grossly deficient & most of his moves irrational. The game in Tests is approached totally differently from that in the T-20 in batting, bowling & field placing. In fact the teams for 3 formats should also have different players. That is the only way the Players will succeed in producing their best.

Posted by secondopinion on (December 7, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

McCullum hadn't shown outstanding captaincy skills and under-performed as a batsman in terms of reliability. Hope new responsibility will make him realise the value of his wicket. Ross Taylor is irreplacable in the current NZ scene, pity he won't be a part of the team to RSA.

Posted by Jburger on (December 7, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

Its an absolute joke what has happened with the captaincy. I rate mccullum as a player, but he failed as captain of the Knightriders badly in the indian premier league, why are they so sure he will suceed at an international level? I hope he does, but Hesson, you have been in the job for how long??? And you have managed to make an unbelievable mess, losing our best batsman only to get your BFF in as captain. Who will be the next captain? As im sure South Africa will demolish us.... Cant wait to see you back Taylor, come back stronger, and dont worry, Hesson wont last long at this rate.

Posted by jessiedog on (December 7, 2012, 19:21 GMT)

Some interesting comments here.... For those that say Taylor has not performed whist captain should have a look at the stats his average as Captain is higher than his carrer average over all 3 formats. To say that Taylor is to blame for the poor record of the team over his reign is nieve. Taylor is not responsible for McCullum playing rash shots,Guptil and others not learning from there mistakes and wanting to improve their game, that is the COACHS job!! This is a farcical situation with a disappointed player in McCullum who was/is bitter about been overlooked 18mths ago when Taylor was appointed captain, has got a coach who is a puupet and will listen to him and allow him to get what he wants, he is carrying on like a petulant little kid. The NZ Board and the CEO have to fall on their sword over this one, this situation and its handling of it and Taylor is a disgrace and it is going to hurt NZ cricket for a long time both on the field and of it.

Posted by thw1 on (December 7, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

Oh great! So just by changing the captain, we can now expect to see NZ performing at a much higher level and with a much higher consistency? Fantastic - I didn't realise that was all it took! Really looking forward to seeing us be competitive against SA. What's that? Maybe not that soon? OK. I really look forward to us being competitive against England! What? Not then either? Well, given no-one actually likes to play us coz we are so crap, no doubt we will have a 17 test tour with either Zimbabwe or Bangladesh in the near future, and I look forward to us being competitive against them! (Warning - extremely high levels of sarcasm were detected in this post.)

Posted by thw1 on (December 7, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

Hahahahaha - NZ finally manage to create a win from the ashes of humiliation, and then we're back to the Aussie-inspired backstabbing and Titanic deck-chair rearranging of the 90s. OK - we definitely don't know all the facts, but a team like NZ, being on the somewhat less-than-gifted side, would probably do better to have someone like Taylor, who appears to be a reasonably humble and realistic captain to lead the team, and maybe even someone that can knuckle down and score some actual runs - sorry, I thought we were talking about cricket, where you kind of actually need to score runs. McCullum - and let's be blunt here - is absolutely fantastic at crafting massive scores against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and Equitorial Guinea etc etc, and blasting 6s out of the park in T20 games. However, he is NOT the inspirational, crafting batsman we need leading our team , and therefore providing guidance to our young batters. I look forward to many future T20 wins - but tests will be 3 day affairs!

Posted by Blunty on (December 7, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Just quietly, if what Ross Taylor says is true, then frankly Hesson's head should roll. How can one expect the best out of a side to break news like that before a test series, particularly given our recent exploits in the test match arena. It is actually a credit to Taylor how well he played in that 2nd Sri Lanka test, not only personally but from a leadership point of veiw as well. Can't have been easy getting up for that given the circumstances and the hiding we were dished out to begin with. I have no doubts he will be back. The shame of it now is we lose momentum, and there will be far more pressure on McCullum to perform in his new role which is probably not what he needs given his form over the last few months. We can only keep our fingers crossed I suppose

Posted by Htc-Android on (December 7, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

i would say this is a wrong decision. i agree NZ played poorly under taylor. but as a captain taylor always led the team with the bat. also their bowling fired up under him. He did his job well as a captain. its not his fault if the rest of the batsmen played poorly. New zealands main problem is not with the captaincy. its with their batting. I would say its with their batting. someone like Fleming would be a better choice.

Posted by altafcricketaddict on (December 7, 2012, 17:17 GMT)

This is sheer crazy. It is absolutely non sense. Couldn't we ask Taylor to be the test captain again after the SAF tour? Mcullum's newzealand's going to lose miserably in the series and I have serious questions on Mcullum's captaincy skills as I can remember he took foul and patchy decisions onmany occasions in the second IPL being the Kolkata Knight Rider's captain. With no Taylor on the front as the real skipper his hard to believe if NZL can achieve anything seriously in the long run. Brendon, you seriously gone, man! Phew, we are going to see many more matches NZL losing now!

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

One should not attribute team defeats to Captain only....! First selection committee, then coaching team then comes players and finally captain should be sacked. But we fumble and take politically sensitive decisions. Any way Ros get ready for IPL. You are the star here.

Posted by Rohan-Lalpudha on (December 7, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

New Zealand is still better than India. us Indians need to stop being delusional and acknowledge that we are better than only Bangladesh at the moment. Our bowling is arguably the worst amont the test plaing nations (yes, im including bangladesh as well) and even Pakistan have a better batting line up. We need to follow the route that pakistan are taking in blooding in the youth. Tendulkar is WAYYYY beyond his sell by date, Dhoni is a poor all rounder, sehvag is VERY inconsistent and Kohli is confused. we need to only retain ashwin, kohli, ojha, and pukara. get rid of the rest. Oh where are the Dravids and the Laxmans of this generation?

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

Instead of dropping McCullum for consistently getting himself out and failing horribly to reach anywhere near his potential, they reward his ineptness and make him Test captain. Sheer genius. Undoubtedly he will now go on and score a dozen brilliant centuries and win us a plethora of games. Or not.

NZ cricket, you've been teetering for a long time, now finally over the abyss.

This is the end...beautiful end my friend.....

Posted by ravikb on (December 7, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Cricinfo, Please change the headline to "B McCullum takes over as NZ captain". Else, readers might get confused whether it is Brendon or Nathan.

Posted by lukecannon on (December 7, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Politics, ruining talented teams since the begiining of sports. True story.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

Know idea what newzeland doing now ross is very good batsmen and captian they miss him lot

Posted by mikriket on (December 7, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Without Taylor there as a batsman, NZ's batting line up is worse than weak and this SA tour will be a catastrophe. The only thing to do is to rquest SA to downgrade this tour to an "A-Tour" and send most of NZ's top players and some new batsmen. Let Taylor, Guptil and McCullem stay home and play domestic.

McCullem is too reckless tobe an opener let alone the Captain.At the most he can be the wicket-keeper who every fourth or fifth innings hits a fast 60

Posted by boris6491 on (December 7, 2012, 12:26 GMT)

So after all of this campaigning for split captains, Taylor's disagreement with the concept leads to his sacking and McCullum's promotion to captaincy in all 3 formats? That makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Something fishy is going on for sure. But if I had to choose between keeping Hesson or Ross Taylor, it would be a no brainer for Taylor. As someone earlier mentioned, this is just petty politics and it is so disappointing that this trend is slowly spreading from the Asian countries to countries which were never that bad in this regard.

Posted by kmister12 on (December 7, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

This is really gutting, I feel we have played better test cricket under Taylor, even in our massive losing streak we still had better chances to win than we ever did with Vettori. Taylor for test captain.

Posted by ichaplain on (December 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

This is crazy. Taylor should remain the captain in all three formats - look at India, WI and SL, they all have one captain and the other countries that do no have one captain, the decision for them to have split captaincy is made by them, not the politicians

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (December 7, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

This is called politics.Unfortunately it happened to Black Caps. I have a great respect to Black Caps and NZ sports. Divisions within the team would not help at all for the team performances. NZ cricket management should be blamed for this.

Posted by stickywicketnick on (December 7, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

This means we have lost the series in South Africa before we have even arrived. Our two best batsmen in the country are not playing Cricket. How have any of the NZCB kept their jobs? This is beyond a farce now.

Posted by pushpendra_thakur08 on (December 7, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

I think given opportunity to new player is better even when the team is not at a good perfomance.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

They lost Test series against South Africa, West Indies and India before the draw in Sri Lanka while they have slipped to ninth in the one-day rankings below Bangladesh

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

it is very good decision and alao here split capacity is a something that work with the high volume of circket ariund the world at the moment 'for a person to take on all three form of game is an extremly very difficult task

Posted by amancommenter on (December 7, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

mcullm is a right choice because toyler is not show the best performence in last time i agree mr. white

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

Watching the lads achieve a series leveling test victory against a classy Sri Lankan outfit, gave me the feeling that maybe we were turning a corner and gave me confidence heading into South Africa. Ross Taylor perfectly acceptable as captain, tweaks the field, rotates bowlers and actually gives his spinners a decent amount of overs to have a crack at picking up wickets. Looks like he has faith in his bowlers. Talk of poor performance in the recent limited overs cricket as one of the main reasons for change, is in my opinion, ridiculous. When you consider the first series against West Indies was after a long break with no cricket and no warm up games amidst Gayles return to the Caribbean, we were up against it. 2ndly, the ODIS and washed out 20/20 was during the Monsoon season and winning the toss and inserting the opposition (which Sri Lanka duly did) all but won you the game.

Posted by stormer1980 on (December 7, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

what a shambles ... Best average in the team .. and been forced to take himself out of the Tour against SA .. NCB ... not good administration .. You almost as poor as our Soccer team Management here in South Africa ....lol .. More seriously though .. New Zealand needs to get a young man with potential and work with him as captain .. thru thick and thin .. Guptill or Williamson ...

Posted by hannibal_king on (December 7, 2012, 10:13 GMT)

ridiculous handling of the situation, when was the last time NZ won matche in Aus and SL, the way it was communicated to Taylor during the tour and he still managed to win in Colombo with a match winning performance is worth admiring. Split captaincy is not a bad idea but it was only after this came in the public and how poorly it was handled that Hesson said that he suggested split captaincy,,,ridiculous

Posted by Dissanayaka on (December 7, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

I feel for Ross Taylor. He did perform well with this novince team he had. But this is what happens in real life. You get a new boss and all what you did in the past goes down the drain even if you perform well. You would be sweetly told to perfom under another person without directly saying go. Whether it is a sports team or any other workplace, if you get new management they need change.....this change has nothing to with Taylors performance.

Posted by rajattiwaari on (December 7, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

There should be stability as far as captaincy is concerned. Changing the captain cannot solve your problem.

Posted by gerrardl on (December 7, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

What a mess! Best player not only loses captaincy.... but now not in the squad to play the best team in the world. Poor management. Embarrassing.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 7, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

I dont get this - Taylor the captain can be debated but you cant just blame the captain all the time. Its not like NZ have a lot of choices for captaincy - Taylor was a decent long term prospect. Taylor the batter is a different story - he is a class act and easily NZ's best and should be going to SA. NZ batting has struggled for a long time and its not going to get any easier in SA so end up in a situation where the best batter is not on the tour is just not acceptable. I am not sure what led to this but if its another administration bungle its not on. We want to see the best guys play the game and its up to the administratots to ensure that happens - actually that's what they are paid to do.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat2 on (December 7, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

Its funny reading the comments of people who have no idea what is actually going on. @satish619chandar: I think you'll find that Taylor does mind it, that is why he has pulled himself out of the squads for the South Africa tour. He's been completely screwed over. @Ben1989: Yes you have missed something. Taylor got stripped of the captaincy for no reason apart from the coach's preference for McCullum to lead the team because he has worked with McCullum a number of years ago. 95% of callers on RadioSport in NZ agreed that they wouldve done the same thing. @MrZygon: Taylor was told by Hesson in Sri lanka to give up the captaincy to McCullum. It was only when this leaked into NZ media that the split captaincy was put on the table...because of all the support Taylor got from the NZ public. Taylor was hung out to dry.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 9:39 GMT)

Its laughable to suggest McCullum shouldn't be in the Test team - just look who we have to bring in as back-up - Peter Fulton. Unfortunately McCullum is one of our best Test batsmen and probably will be until Tom Latham & Michael Bracewell breakthrough permanently in to the side. Probably best to give McCullum a chance at the captaincy and leave the hate for Hesson & co.

Posted by reversecut on (December 7, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

we are even loosing international fans now with what has happened here. If this doesn't help McCullum score decent runs nothing will. And i have the distinct feeling that nothing will. I expect either Taylor or Williamson to be back as captain of at least the test side within the next 2 years.... Also, this issue has clouded the fact that Franklin is still in the test team, he clearly has a family member of the coach or NZC board held hostage and his holding them for ransom - there is no other explanation.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Its a good decision. Taylor has failed his team many times, winning against stronger teams once in a blue moon doesn't justify his captaincy. But he is a class batsmen only NZ have right now. He should be in the team in all formats not as captain. Vettori should have been given captaincy again if he desire but mcullum is not a bad choice either.

Posted by PadamHCL on (December 7, 2012, 7:19 GMT)

Bad move from NCB, you should bck RT for another series and take the decision since had good performance in Srilanka. Again team has to regroup under BM and it will take time for them to settle down and more than my feeling is that there ego problem is their bet ween RT and BM.....over all I don't think that this is a right move..

Posted by derpherp on (December 7, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

As an Aussie fan i just feel so sorry for the New Zealand fans. Terrible management and poor performances must be so frustrating. I don't want to sound patronizing but when you guys finally achieve a great win, the NZCB does something like this...

Posted by zedzeek on (December 7, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Great choice, we're the worse test playing team (excluding bang etc, though they have our measure in onedayers) so lets fire out best player, thats sure to work, cause we cant get much worse.

OTOH taylor lap it up, otherwise with we have c gayle situation where the best player is not playing for the land and that worked out well for WI (not)

Posted by DamnStraight on (December 7, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

BAD MOVE NZ! Taylor was one of the tough compeditors I was looking forward to seeing against SA. A real blow for the viewer and NZ cricket on the whole, better sort the politics out in the interest of the game. I fear a crushing defeat is in store for the visitors gainst the Saffas. Not a great move by management when you force out your best player weeks before a tour against the No1 side.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (December 7, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

OK, so now stuck with McCullum as an opener...? I still think he's best going down the order and playing as an aggressive number six (providing he can rotate the strike with the tail).

Regarding NZ's performance, when you consider the tiny population they have from which to draw a team, I think it's to their credit that they've been as competitive as they have been.

Posted by Edassery on (December 7, 2012, 6:25 GMT)

Two batsmen with lot of skills but poor outcome as against the expectations of international cricket. The leadership qualities in both are very basic and inconsistent. Can't NZ find someone better in their mid twenties?

If these are the only two options available, I would go with Ross Tailor. Winning a test match in the sub continent and leveling the series is not easy. He marshaled his pacemen really well throughout the series and batted well. As for the ODI series, rain was the real spoiler. And I doubt if captaincy has affected Taylor's performance. So it should have been Taylor in my opinion. Moreover why even change the situation when they are about to get better?

Posted by Freerider1 on (December 7, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

And the irony is that McCullum is now the skipper in all formats. So much for split captaincy.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

Funny to see that people like david white who played 2 tests and scored 31 runs and bowled 3 balls . and Mike Hesson who never played international cricket/domestiĀ­c cricket making decisions about who should be captain. Just when tables are turning, Removing Ross would do no good to NZ cricket. I think Ross took right decision to clear his head, skip the curren series and come back with fresh mindset to play against England.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 7, 2012, 6:11 GMT)

NZ seem to have shot themselves in the foot with this move. These kind of senseless decisions are usually characteristic of the sub-continental teams more specifically India and Pakistan. I still remember Srikkanth being sacked after becoming the first Indian captain not to lose a series in Pakistan in 89-90, but at least the selectors had the excuse that he had a woeful series as a batsman. This is even worse as Taylor is batting superbly, winning in SL being extremely difficult for non-subcontinental teams. It's a classic case of one step forward and two back!!

Posted by MK88 on (December 7, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

I feel sorry for Ross. And for NZ to send a team without Ross and Danny V...I think its suicide. And where is Jesse Ryder??

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

This is real joke, i thought NZ was going towards right direction...now this....surely Taylor is disappointed and needs a break.....

Posted by chrisriemers on (December 7, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

I think it is ridiculous for one of the most important tours for them that their most important player chooses to sit out.clearly there seems to be issues between Mccullum and Ross Taylor from the outset regarding the captaincy. Nz will get thrashed by SA.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (December 7, 2012, 5:50 GMT)

What a joke! I can't believe our best player will be sitting at home.

Posted by xylo on (December 7, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Well, split captaincies has worked for those countries in which the test captain is not a part of the team in the other format(s). So, this must be an awkward position. Taylor has shown great heart in sacrificing the captaincy. Now, McCullum being in the Test side by itself is stretching one's wits. Let's see how he fares with the captaincy.

Posted by anver777 on (December 7, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

Strange strange decision taken by NZ cricket !!!! Ross is the ideal man, who i think will do a better job than McCullum but, my dear dejected Ross, as a senior player resting & missing a tough SA tour is not a good idea, so re think about it !!!

Posted by christy29 on (December 7, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

MCcullum is not a good enough test batsman to stay in the team let alone shine. He should have been only T20 captain

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

they need ross taylor hes their best batsmen along with kane williamson mccullum hasnt performed in ages

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

Without Taylor there as a batsman, SA will make mincemeat out of the NZ team. NZ should ask SA to make this an A team tour . This is going to be a catastrophe

Posted by Gurram on (December 7, 2012, 4:51 GMT)

Why brendon as new captain? Leave these good players to play their attacking natural game. Keep brendon, ross out of captaincy. Give it to a debutant who can bat at 7 and bowl at 6. I am sure NZ will do well.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

New Zealand cricket is in a mess and needs some strong leadership that has been missing since the departure of Stephen Fleming. It is sad to see this decline since the BlackCaps had the reputation of consistent performance in tournamments like the ODI World Cup and were expected to provide good contest in Test cricket too. The split captaincy is a patchwork solution that does not work out well in the long run. By going for such a solution the kiwi administrators have given strong evidence of panic influencing their decision making. I am glad Ross Taylor has declined the offer - whatever be his motive.

Posted by Maccanui on (December 7, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

It would be difficult for anyone to be captain in all three forms of the game so we have put pressure to get rid of the incumbent (who at least has some batting form) and get a new guy in to be captain in all three forms of the game (who has no battnig form and no idea how to bat in a test match). Genius.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

A rare and resounding Test victory, away in Sri Lanka no less. Finally something goes right in a tour to SL, in itself a rare thing for NZ. and then Ross Taylor gets knifed. Guess it couldn't last.

Posted by pratit on (December 7, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

What? A Kiwi team without Ross Taylor? Why even bother going to South Africa? Might as well stay at home and concede defeat

Posted by yetigoat on (December 7, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

Hope baz can show similar improvement in his batting that Taylor has. And good to see the otago boys looking out for each other

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 7, 2012, 4:15 GMT)

So a fifth rate coach who has zero international standing in his field can topple his only international-class player and destroy the team? Interesting!

Posted by Seanny on (December 7, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

its really sad to see the NZL cric decline, personally i have always been a huge fan of kiws, as a kid, i used to follow the modern day gr8 as we call him, Martin Crowe, with a lot of enthu....apart from him, it was always amazing to watch astle, fleming & macmillan destroying the opps on their days, plus cairns; oh what a gifted all rounder he was, and off course, the ultimate Mr. SHANE EDWARD BOND.....even now the team has gt players who've gt amazing potentials, rosso, brendon, southee, dougie, guptill nd many more, i feel they need to understand nd perform more as a unit, they re too dependent on players like ross, brendon & southee......

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Good stuff Ross. Always keep family first. With so much time away I bet you need it to keep you sane!

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 7, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Have mixed feelings about this - watching Taylor last season in the NZ v Oz Tests, I thought Ross did a much better job than Clarke in using his young bowlers & backing them up & supporting them directly, while Clarke took a back seat approach leaving the new guys to fend for themselves... Also Taylor has 50% more centuries to McCullum in ODI's, yet playing roughly half the number of matches - their Test stats are also similar, with Taylor the superior batsman in both formats... Centuries are match winners, especially in ODI's - so for me I'd want Taylor leading the team... If NZ want to get off the bottom of the Test & ODI rankings, they wont do it by ousting their best batter & publicly humiliating him...

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

so, you recommend a split captaincy... and then don't go ahead with the split captaincy at all... Who is running NZ cricket? No wonder Ross T is not available...

Posted by kaiser1 on (December 7, 2012, 3:26 GMT)

Its very sad event, just as I started to enjoy NZ's competitiveness as a test team, here comes the sad story. If split captaincy was the issue then why it has not been done. Only one man appointed as captain for all 3 formats....? what a PCB style management. I miss u Mr Taylor.

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 7, 2012, 3:18 GMT)

Baz looks a far better natural captain. Yet his issues with his commitment to team when he was captain of KKR caused him to lose the top spot for some time. Good to see him back as captain. Taylor wouldn't mind it actually. He is a far better batsman and he can shoulder his responsibility as their prime batsman.

Posted by Patchmaster on (December 7, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

Only the NZB could dream this up. We've just beaten Sri Lanka and yet they disript eerything. McCullum averages below 30 in tests and not much more in ODI's - why on earth are they even convinced he's worth his spot in the side - never mind about captain. Ross Taylor has the support of the Country, even though the board betray him.

Posted by 12th_man on (December 7, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

Agree or disagree what's done is done, it's now up to McCullum to prove to everybody he can lead the team and move the back us up the rankings. We may be a small country but 4th in the ODIs and 20/20s and top 6 test nations is a reasonable expectation. Brendon don't throw away your wicket in test matches, make the bowler work for it. I hope to see our best batsman Taylor back in the team soon as we don't have enough talent to lose someone of his talent.

Posted by lukecannon on (December 7, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

Don't be another " Gibson ", Hesson.

Posted by OrgiaMode on (December 7, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

Disgraceful. It's already hard enough to be a New Zealand fan any more given their pathetic results and the management just make it harder with they way they've handled this

Posted by mthw on (December 7, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

McCullum??? He shouldn't even be in the test team unless he is keeping. Worst decision ever. I really don't think that I can watch the black caps anymore. It pains me to watch and read about them these days.

Posted by PadMarley on (December 7, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

OH man! They just started picking up some momentum... and you got to disturb it!! what is this ?? New Zeland is the latest Pakistan or somehting?????

Posted by happyslapped on (December 7, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Well that's dissappointing. Taylor is the best batsman in the country, Jesse Ryder close behind at number two and both alienated by NZC. McCullum could do everyone a favour and put the gloves back on, that way he could justify his selection, let alone captaincy.

Posted by larahooperinc on (December 7, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

wishing bj watling well,i beleive he has the talent to be a very good player at test level

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 2:34 GMT)

Split captaincy is not good for team that have same players in all format to work under different captains differently with different ego unless the players are really cooperative. I think Kane Williamson must be long term captain for NZL now. He responsible cricketer.

Posted by larahooperinc on (December 7, 2012, 2:31 GMT)

i am really sick and tired of these cricket coaches confusing teams and fighting with the leading players.(greg chapell.andy flower,otis gibsonand mike hesson)sorry ross taylor not touring but wish him all the best for the future.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

wow, no taylor or vettori, should be a massacre. i hope SA dont relax too much, they have a habit of bringing out the best in oppositions.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

NZ will not win anything with out Taylor, the only truly world class batsman in the team. Bad handling by NZ cricket

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

danger is that Ross quits NZ and we lose our best batsman. he could decide to be a batter for hire. Hope not. Like McCullum as Capt. Think he will at least be more aggressive in his thinking. Though feel sorry for Ross. Thought he was just starting to get it right.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

I'm trying to understand it. NZ wanted split captaincy, the key word here is 'SPLIT'. So they asked Ross Taylor to just take over just the Test side, which he declined and was therefore removed from the position giving McCullum captaincy of all formats....So where is this 'SPLIT' captaincy? So this to to NZ Cricket Board, If you wanted to have 'SPLIT' captaincy at any cost, why not get another captain and 'SPLIT' the responsibility instead of giving it all to McCullum....Which you apparently didn't want in the first place? There is a limit to being farcical!

Posted by TJAPUKAI on (December 7, 2012, 1:28 GMT)

What a great humiliation to a captain who brought first victory in Srilanka after 14 years.It's a downward pattern for NZ again.Please learn from Aussies how to preserve the good leaders.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 7, 2012, 1:24 GMT)

Here goes the last remaining decent batsman in NZ team. No one will even have any interest in playing this team if Taylor also leaves it. Then better play Afghanistan. Why do all administrators only do one thing? destroy teams.

Posted by Anindaya on (December 7, 2012, 1:07 GMT)

How come NZ choose to lose their best batter at this tough time. They may get a losing series in South Africa now, without even putting a fight.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

Going to try and compete with the best team in the world without our best batsmen. Well done NZC

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

And as you can imagine here in New Zealand we are all whooping with delight at this turn of events...

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:47 GMT)

I haven't seen anything from McCullum to suggest he'll do any better, especially in the Test arena.

Posted by blah16 on (December 7, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Another stupid decision by NZ cricket Taylor wasn't doing anything wrong how can his side losing be his fault? He has easily been our best batsman since becoming captain, it's not his fault the rest of the batsmen are average. I feel sorry for Taylor hope he doesn't quit the team.

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

Mike Hesson and David White both need to go before Taylor. How can they treat NZ's best player with such disdain?

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:31 GMT)

Could we sink any lower? You can't only give someone 18 months as captain!? Its not like Ross is the reason we're doing so badly. NZ Cricket has alienated numerous players in the recent past but this is RIDICULOUS! Sack John Buchanan and Hesson, Wright would then come back. Re-instate Taylor. Why are non-players destroying what little chance we have? *cries into pillow*

Posted by Maccanui on (December 7, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

This saga has all the hallmarks of a debacle. Things are pretty bad, even by NZCs usual low standards. Now neither of our two best batsmen are playing test cricket (Ryder and Taylor). And we'll have McCullum encouraging the lads to play their 'natural game' with the bat - get ready for some swashbuckling 20-30s from the top order. O dear.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 7, 2012, 0:27 GMT)

I cannot figure this one out,whatever the credentials of McCallum. Surely New Zealand have cut off their noses to spite their face big time. Two victories over sustralia and Sri Lanka, both away, and a 1-0 loss to a team to which they might have lost 2 or 3 nil . Sounds like a coach who I have not heard of assuming power he should not be permitted to have. Coaches are not the supreme overlords and should serve to facilitate excellence not dish out the orders. Further Taylor is their best batsman since Crowe. Totally nonsensical, and reallly aren't silly t20 competitiions just a bit of frippery, and nothing more? Nothing against McCallum as I said, but an insane decision.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 7, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

This should be the team's "1982 Javed Miandad moment". If the players have any integrity and team-spirit and loyalty to one another, they should collectively make themselves unavailable to play in South Africa under any captain other than Ross Taylor. NZ Cricket's actions do not just bring cricket into appalling disrepute, but they also destroy an improving team which has won Tests in Australia and Sri Lanka in the last 12 months. Shane Warne is clearly an excellent judge of character, who can forget his thoughts about John Buchanan?

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 7, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

Very sad to hear this. Why drop an established batsman from a tour of SA? This will leave NZ left with just Williamson, Guptill and McCullum with a big task on their shoulders. Not a good move at all I am afraid.

Posted by hotwife on (December 7, 2012, 0:24 GMT)

What a joke. Perhaps if McCullum had backed Taylor up with the bat instead of his mouth, Taylor would have been more successful. His average of less than 30 (and last 100 over 30 innings ago) during Taylors captaincy should have seen him dropped from the side. Rewarded for mediocrity by becoming captain, brilliant strategy. No runs against West Indies, no runs against India, no runs against Sri Lanka, how many opportunities does one get? What will happen now if he gets no runs in SA?

Posted by blah16 on (December 7, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

Another stupid decision by NZ cricket Taylor wasn't doing anything wrong how can his side losing be his fault? He has easily been our best batsman since becoming captain, it's not his fault the rest of the batsmen are average. I feel sorry for Taylor hope he doesn't quit the team.

Posted by Min2000 on (December 7, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

I feel that McCullum has ruined this side... as a keeper/batsmen he was world class. As an opener he has been decidedly average. As a captain?...time will tell I guess. But Taylor is our best player by some distance and now he and Ryder will sit out this tour. David White needs to be sacked along with Buchanan and Hesson. Enough is enough.

Posted by LillianThomson on (December 7, 2012, 0:14 GMT)

NZ cricket has taken a terrible path since the absurd decision to keep John Buchanan and his weird structures and to jettison John Wright. I have seen this twice before: firstly in the mid-90s when they decided to discard Cairns and Parore and replace them with the vastly inferior Harris and Germon who were perceived as yes-men. Secondly, five years ago, when they gave Shane Bond a No-Objection Certificate to play ICL and then stopped picking him anyway in response to BCCI pressure. The people who run NZ Cricket need to be dismissed and replaced with pragmatists like when Chris Doig restored Cairns and Parore and unleashed a golden age. Which part of "your only international class player is Ross Taylor" don't these people understand? I'm a Kiwi, I'm a senior doctor with management experience, I'm available and I couldn't do worse than these clowns. My manifesto is: 1) Axe Buchanan and Hesson, 2) Grovel to Wright and Taylor to return and lead, 3) Prioritise Tests, on green wickets

Posted by   on (December 7, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

In order to get the best out of the players at your diposal, you must be both flexible and possess people skills. To alienate the one indisputable Test batsman of class NZ possess in this fashion is lunacy and you don't want a lunatic in charge so get rid of Mike Hesson instead!

Posted by SyBorgg71 on (December 7, 2012, 0:09 GMT)

Sorry to see Taylor go like this. McCullum is far too agressive to be a long term captain. We are going to get crushed by South Africa with no Taylor, Ryder or Vettori. One wonders if Hesson and McCullum will get the chop after the English tour here? I can't see NZ winning anything of mild significance with the current state of affairs.

Posted by Tayloruss on (December 7, 2012, 0:02 GMT)

What a joke. We can't beat south Africa in south Africa without our best batsman. Bring back Rosco.

Posted by AjitNarayan on (December 6, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

He didn't get sacked, he turned it down. Shame on Cricinfo for a misleading title. This is happening more often of late.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:57 GMT)

God... As if NZ cricket was not in enough mire already...

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 6, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

There you go Indian fans !!!! Ross gets sacked for losing a few 'hard fought' test matches. What do we do with MS Dhoni after an 8-0 drubbing ? - We praise him and keep him on as captain of the test team !!! That's the difference between a primitive cricketing culture in India and the rest of the world.

Posted by plow on (December 6, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

Not a very nice situation, Im gutted Ross isnt going to SA. Good luck Baz.. you're gonna need it.

Posted by DP.NZFisher on (December 6, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

New Zealand cricket needs their head read. A young, strong and talented captain takes a test series by the throat, scores 142 runs in a record breaking innings on the subcontinent to win the second test & returns home to be ousted as captain in place of a mouthy, petulant hoiker with little test batting ability. I'm gobsmacked by the stupidity of our national body and their small mindedness. Perhaps the board that appointed Taylor after such a lengthy, public & embarrassing process last year should be sacked since evidently their process was so flawed & their decision making was wrong as proved by the current dumping of their chosen one. NZ now head to one of the most difficult places in the world to win without their two best batsmen (Ryder also). I follow NZ cricket tirelessly and with passion at all times, but this sort of senseless meddling is more likely to put me off than anything they do or don't achieve on the field. Shame on you NZC.

Posted by palmheads on (December 6, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

The joke that is NZC gets funnier & funnier! How on earth will the SA's market a series when one of the worst nations just got EVEN WEAKER with their best batsman not touring. Pathetic management, what a terrible organisation

Posted by dalboy12 on (December 6, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

NZC is a mess - we have lost heaps of coaches in the last few years and a few players. It's a mess - the front desk management needs to be cleaned out. The problem is that everything is such a mess and has been for so long, that now no-one wants the job. Taylor is one of our few decent batsman - and has potential to be our first batsman to actually score over 20 test centuries, which shows how weak our batting really is and always has been. If we get thrashed in SA, which given the state we are in and the form SA will be in coming of a successful Aussie tour, - what then? The timing of this is just all wrong it has placed Hesson, Taylor and McCullum all in a very difficult position - that will only get worst. Why could this have not waited until after the England tour. This SA tour and then England coming are huge tours for cricket in NZ and now our already struggling team will be further weakened by the lose of our best batsman and a divided team. IT"S A MESS!!

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

Ross does well in SL..a place it is so difficult to win and he also scores runs and he is Sacked. This is simply NOT Cricket.

Without Ross in SA, there is absolutely no Chance of NZ scoring 200 runs in an innings..

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

I was really looking forward to SA, thought we had a real show. It'll be a major struggle now without Taylor, Ryder and Vettori. Damn it Hesson.

Posted by Erebus26 on (December 6, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

It looks as if Hesson has won the battle on this one. There have been successes and failures this year but I really thought Taylor had the potential to grow into the role and become a good captain. I think he's been unfairly forced into a corner by being made to relinquish his leadership of the limited overs sides and I feel this could come back to bite NZC on the backside. I really hope Ross plays a part during the England series as he is the best batsman in the Black Caps team and NZ normally do well when he makes big runs. They'll certainly miss him in South Africa that is for sure. I'm not overly keen on McCullum as skipper but he's an experienced campaigner and was the only alternative for the role. He certainly needs to knuckle down with his batting though as he has been guilty lately of poor shot selection.

Posted by NZLankan on (December 6, 2012, 23:36 GMT)

Absolute travesty - he's the sole ray of sunshine in a bleak batting landscape for the kiwis, and NZC - with it's Aussie tinge - decide he is pretty much surplus to requirements. McCullum is lucky to make the team as batsman let alone a skipper based on recent performances...or maybe its who you know (or coaches you) that count now. All this before we play SA away - pathetic.

Posted by amemberoftheelect23 on (December 6, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

I think it is sad that Ross Taylor is being replaced as captain. know it is the go to move once your team is losing but this getting rid of captains only based on the results and not decisions made during a match is not the right way to go. However being sacked as captain should not have to led to Ross deciding not to go to South Africa. Dont see them winning a Test or ODI without their best batsman!

Posted by CaliforniaMysterySpinner on (December 6, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

Its a shame, given that Taylor is probably the only current Kiwi that would be under consideration for any XI in the world. Given a minimum of 10 innings played, Ross Taylor's agrregate average of 48.32 across all formats for NZ easily outplaces the next in the list by over 12 runs. McCullum is fairly overrated given his inability to make a start count.

Posted by doctorsushi on (December 6, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

Here's a simple stats comparison; so far in 2012: Taylor 819 runs at 54.6, McCullum 621 runs at 34.5. NZC just sacked 20 runs an innings...

Posted by MrZygon on (December 6, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

I'm not sure who is advising Taylor (if anyone) but he should not have turned down the opportunity to remain as captain of the test team. A lot of overseas teams split the captaincy between the different formats. Test cricket is still the ultimate form of the game and now he has chucked his toys because McCullum had the chance to captain in the lesser forms of the game. He would have won a lot of supporters by taking it on the chin and going to Sth Africa playing under McCullum in the T20s and then captaining in the tests.

Posted by oz_uk_2011 on (December 6, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

Poor decision by the NZ Cricket Board. The sort of thing you'd expect to hear over in the Caribbean. Taylor has, for so long now, been the one shining light in NZ Cricket. Here's hoping he doesn't give the international game away.

Posted by Bogus on (December 6, 2012, 23:24 GMT)

As an NZ cricket fan, I will always support through the team through rough and frustrating patches on the field (like the last 3-4 years). But there are several reason I don't agree with this. Firstly, since Hesson has become coach, McCullums run output has been barely enough to warrant a consistent starting spot up the order, let alone nail it down enough to captain. Secondly, we keep hearing (in the NZ media time and time again) that the 'senior players' are the ones who want B-Mac to captain. Now, as far as I can discern, the senior players of this squad are McCullum, Oram, Vettori, Mills, Martin with maybe a couple more around them. Compare this to the group of Taylor, Guptil, Southee, Boult, Bracewell, Ryder. Which group is going to be more important over the period of McCullums reign?

Why bend over backwards to please the players who, over the next few years, will be reuced to mentors/spectators?

As much as I love Vettori, I feel someone has to point this out.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

A little selfish if you ask me. There's a huge tour of SA coming up, and while I can understand the sacking, he should have made himself available as a player. He's a crucial batsman for NZ.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

This is awful news as a Kiwi fan. We lose the guy who may not be a great captain but is a top draw player for a guy who MIGHT be a great captain but doesn't even justify his place in the team at the moment. Brilliant work NZC.

Posted by Ben1989 on (December 6, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

am I missing something here??? is Ross depressed or something?? why completely pull yourself out of the series, especially when it's against SA & you're one of the leading batsman & instead, letting a young fella get worked over by the best bolwing attack in the world? go figure...

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

It sounds as though Taylor had lost support in the dressing room, long before the second test. When he was appointed captain it was something of a surprise, considering his lack of leadership experience in lower forms of cricket. At least McCullum had been vice captain, and captain occasionally due to injury. A logical sequence would have been McCullum for a couple of years, then train up Taylor, then Williamson (who does have captaincy experience.) Now that NZC have made a decision we should get on and support it.

Posted by elcycad on (December 6, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

Without Ross, NZ will not be competitive. The SA fans will not flock to these matches, as they will not be good value for money. C'mon NZ, get your house in order.

Posted by InsideHedge on (December 6, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

Taylor not only scored a ton in SL, he got a really good one against India too in the 2nd & final Test there recently. The Kiwis had a tough assignment in touring SA, they'll get absolutely walloped now. And McCullum really needs to improve his Test batting, his current strategy of trying to play T20 type innings is nothing but reckless.

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:12 GMT)

Giving captaincy to MCCullum who has done nothing earth shattering is silly

Posted by   on (December 6, 2012, 23:11 GMT)

Apparently leading your team to their first major test win in the subcontinent in a generation and scoring the key century in that game is now a firing offence.

Replaced by the inconsistent McCullum?

If you want to know whats wrong with NZ cricket, its the politics. What a joke.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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