New Zealand news January 22, 2013

Taylor set to return to competitive cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor's self-imposed exile from competitive cricket is set to come to an end this week when he turns out for Central Districts in the Plunket Shield, New Zealand's first-class competition.

Taylor was removed from the New Zealand captaincy in all formats in December and replaced by Brendon McCullum, who had the backing of the coach, Mike Hesson. Taylor decided to take time off from the game because of the manner in which he was ousted, which led New Zealand Cricket to issue an apology for the breakdown in communication within the management.

New Zealand's home series against England begins early next month, and the Plunket Shield match allows Taylor time in the middle before that contest. Taylor had skipped New Zealand's ongoing tour of South Africa but had hinted he wanted to return against England.

Central Districts coach Alan Hunt was thrilled to have Taylor's experience in the side after a dismal run in the HRV Cup, the Twenty20 competition. "Obviously when you get a world-class player coming into the side, you're never going to turn that down," Hunt told Fairfax Media. "I'm pleased to have him. We can help him get back on the cricket horse and get on with it."

Besides Taylor, New Zealand are also missing the services of Jesse Ryder who hasn't played for the national side in nearly a year. Ryder, too, has hinted at a return next month, raising the possibility of the struggling New Zealand side welcoming back two of their most talented batsmen for the England series.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    i love to see this guy batting for NZ. one of my all time favorite batsman. Welcome back Taylor.

  • Angus on January 22, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    @Muzgrob i have a similar Test XI, but i'd have Guptil for McCullum and i'd swap Ryder and Williamson around. As mentioned by SameOld, NZ's 1st drop is a 3rd opener in most instances and Ryder should be saved for the older ball.

    My team is a dream team, in that I am not expecting Hesson to pick anything close to this. He'll obviously stick with his mate McCullum who imo shouldn't be in the test team. And he'll also stick with Watling behind the sticks.

    I also hope that Vettori sees sense and makes himself available for the shorter formats instead, and for an attacking spinner who can turn the ball and land it consistently to magically appear... dreams are free...

  • Kan on January 22, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    It'll be great to have the most destructive batsman back in the game.NZ can challenge in England in home soil if they get their team combination right. Ryder, Watling, McCullum, Ross, Williomson,Brownlie,Vettori(if he's available),Southee, Boult,Bracewell,McLagnen will make a good if not formidable test team

  • Jake on January 22, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    A strong team for NZ would be Watling, McCullum, Ryder, Taylor, Williamson, Brownlie, Ronchi, Vettori, Bracewell, Southee and Boult.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Of the four of five spin bowlers used in all formats in Vettoris' absents, Hira has looked the most comfortable at the bowling crease, the fact that he has played only five first class games for Auckland, that can't pick a four first class is unfortunate, but he puts the ball were he wants with a plan. Brodie has the ability to bat time, and score i.e be an opening bat, he is not a half measure stroke maker/technician. If there is another Opener good.

  • Joe on January 22, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    To you guys saying Hira, you realise he averages 200 with the ball in 4 day cricket right? And Brodie isn't up to it at this point.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Is the return of Taylor and possibly that of Ryder as well really good news for New Zealand in the long run? Should both return to the national side and perform to their standard, it would only serve to paper over the gaping cracks within the administration and the structure of the domestic game. Should they choose to make themselves unavailable, New Zealand would perforce have to address these flaws. On the other hand, without any stars to inspire the young, what would such an exile, possibly years long before the current administration admit defeat,entail in the long run?

  • Angus on January 22, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    NZ line up versus England should be: Watling, Guptill, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder, Brownlie, McCullum, Vettori, Bracewell, Southee, Boult (12th man McLenaghan or Wagner)

    First bonus all 11 can bat, even Boult. Martin should be put in a home and given his pension by NZ cricket. Appreciate the work the old warhorse has done but bowling 120-125kph inswingers aint going to win test matches

    This line up gives 4 key bowling options plus Williamson as a second spinner + Guptill if ever needed and Ryder to bowl medium pace when seamers are knackered/need a change

    This balance gives us 7 top line batters that may even worry a bowling line up and should regularly post 350+ each first innigs. McCullum has proven most efficient batting at 7 and playing a semi-Gilchrist type innings to turn a game earlier in his test career before his ego got too inflated and decided to play a limited overs mindset across all games.

    Guptill is a quality player and will adjust to swinging tendancies of red ball

  • Beau on January 22, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    It will be great to see Taylor & Ryder back, whenever it happens. Even if I didn't support NZ, I think I'd be glad to see them back. Both just a lot of fun to watch when they are doing their thing.

    Obviously they'd both walk into all three teams, which would be interesting in terms of who is shuffled out, especially in the Test side. Baz is a lock, as is Watling, and probably Brownlie, too. Without Vettori, NZ'll want Franklin, plus a spinner & three seamers. So that leaves Flynn, Guptill and Williamson probably scrapping for one place. Interesting.

    @stickywicketnick: Yep, Ryder's 1st drop in most teams, but in this one I think it's justified playing him at 5. All to often 1st drop is just a 3rd opener for NZ, and for all his various talents, Ryder is not a Test opener. Neither is anyone else in this side, but they can't all bat at 5. :)