New Zealand in South Africa 2012-13 December 11, 2012

McCullum hoping for Ryder and Taylor's return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, has said he has been in touch with left-hand batsman Jesse Ryder and expects him to be back in national colours in the "not too distant future". McCullum also said he had spoken to his predecessor Ross Taylor, who has taken a break from cricket following his rejection of a split-captaincy offer.

Ryder smashed 162 off 174 balls for Wellington against Central Districts in his most recent Plunket Shield game, striking 20 fours and four sixes. In March this year, Ryder had taken an indefinite break from the game to resolve his personal issues, but in July committed to a full season of first-class cricket.

"I've been in touch with Jesse,'' McCullum told reporters before leaving for South Africa for a series comprising two Tests, three ODIs and three Twenty20s. "He's going really well. I was really pleased he again scored a lot of runs in this game. He's doing great at the moment and I'm sure he'll be back in the not too distant future. It's about Jesse getting out of first-class cricket in the next months [is] what he needs, and that's the most important thing.

"Jesse is a world-class player and we've seen that already in his time in international cricket, but the circumstances are that Jesse is unavailable at the moment and that's unfortunate.

"I guess you think of the person first and, once we get Jesse back down the track, we'll know that we'll get consistent long-term success from him rather than him coming back a little bit too early.''

Ryder hasn't played for New Zealand since February this year, and said he'll still take time to stage a return. "Not yet. I've got things I want to work on. I'm still trying to be happy again and find a love for the game again and stay on that sort of path," he told Fairfax News. "I'll reassess it, come Christmas, with Aaron [Klee, his manager] and see where I'm at.

"The runs have been flowing and I reckon it's probably the best I'm seeing the ball as well. I'm pretty happy with what's happening. It's easily my best form. I can't complain, if you're scoring runs you're a happy batsman."

McCullum also hoped to see Taylor back in the side. "He [Taylor] needs a bit of space at the moment. He's going through a very tough time and my thoughts and the team's thoughts are with him. It's similar to Jesse. When he's good and ready to come back into the team, it would be great to have him. Again, he's obviously a world-class player and by far our best batsman as well.''

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  • Martin on December 14, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    A quick comparison of our current test team under Taylor, and Vettori:

    Improved under Taylor: Batsmen: Taylor(49.85 v 41.12) Watling (39.25 v 25.37) : Bowlers: Southee (26.3 v 42.5) Martin (29.5 v 35.08) no change: Franklin, Flynn, Williamson

    Deteriorated under Taylor: Batting: McCullum (29.54 v 40.58) Vettori (29 v 39)

    : Bowling: Vettori (44 v 33)

    I cannot compare Boult, Bracewell, Wagner, or van Wyk, as they never played under Vettori.

    This may not be a statistically meaningful comparison due to sample size, but I believe it shows a relative success in terms of captaincy for Taylor compared to his immediate predecessor Vettori.

    Vettori was allowed to retire from the captaincy with dignity.


  • adam on December 13, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    McCullum doesn't want to keep. Okay. (We carry crappy keeper batsmen for years, giving just about every first-class keeper in the country a go without success, altering the balance of our team for the worse)

    McCullum wants to open. Okay. (McCullum is a useless opener for several years, only scores big against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh which inflates his average to a whopping 35)

    McCullum wants to be captain. No.

    McCullum REALLY wants to be captain. Okay. (We dump our only world-class batsmen in gruesome circumstances, the result being we lose him altogether)

    McCullum wants to bat a 4. Okay. (Turns out we need a number 4 batsman anyway)

    Do you want anything else Brendon? Open the bowling perhaps? Do it, you're the captain. Whatever you want next I'm sure its not going to be for the benefit of NZ cricket. Whatever it is, just do it, you're the captain. And nobody else cares now anyway, so just do whatever. it. is. you. want.

  • josh on December 12, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Not wrong jonsey2 Cook is feeding on Indian pies cause he knows Chris Martin will have his number in the home-away series. Southee in sublime form has 3 bunnies in KP, Trott and Bell to look fwd to. Lets not forget about the SA series either I look fwd to 2 meter Peter smashing Steyn and Philander all over the park!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    new zealand middle order is nothing without Ross taylor!!!!!!!! The real skipper of new zealand !!!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 9:44 GMT

    Playing McCallum as a batsman only has been proven a failure as neither he nor his wk-replacement have set the world alight. Why play two when one can do the job? As for captain, we'll soon see if there's merit in it or if it turns out to be a case of NZ being able to afford to drop McCallum but not Taylor. @Phildo, Vettori only has 360 test wickets with 20 five-fors and three 10w/m and his list of victims only includes Tendulkar, Dravid, Gilchrist and Damien Martin five times while some of his four-time victims are Clarke, Hayden, Langer, Sehwag, M Waugh, Collingwood, Pietersen, da Silva and Ranatunga.

  • Shulz Van on December 12, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Best of Luck NZ!! from a SA fan...

  • Dylan on December 12, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    I think Taylor has to be back in the team as soon as possible but not Ryder. He needs as much time as he wants and should not be pushed into a decision at the expense of his mental health. As I see it, Ryder could potentially become a great player with numerous match winning centuries, a modern Crowe or Astle. But, if pushed too soon, he could have similar problems to Marcus Trescothink, a cricketer who should not be forgotten and is an example of what could go wrong to promising players who crack under the strain of the cricket Board and public pressure. I am not doubting Trescothink credentials, but saying that mental stress is a common issue for sportsplayers and should be factored in when deciding if one is able to contribute to their team. Ryder could become Crowe or Trescothink, but anyone can become those players. So the best thing to do is to wait until Ryder says: "I am ready to play for my country". Only then can we be sure that Ryder is back and prepared.

  • philip on December 12, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Vettori vettori!!!!!! most overated test bowler the world has ever seen, what can he do????? he can tie down a side from one end !!!! only good against ban, and zim as they dont have the patience to deal with it...... the last 3 test wins have been without him.... if he plays we play for a draw only

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    @jonesy2...whatever your on, I want some. NZ wouldn't beat a sheiffeld shild team with all those players in it.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    lol jonesy2.. why do people make such ridiculous comments.

    Even ross taylor would have to push for a place in the England team. Even with those three back England would make a mess of us in Test Cricket. I dont know what some people are smoking on this website sometimes, but New Zealand is a country of 4 million people and its team is what it is. Virtually none of our players would ever get even a trial for the Australian side except probably brendon mccullum Ross taylor and if fit and behaving jesse ryder.

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