Ross Taylor: 'I've still got ambitions for the T20 World Cup'
Batsman insists he can still do the job in the shortest format, even though he hasn't always been in the running for selection
Ross Taylor has said that he has eyes on the T20 World Cup later this year even though he hasn't featured in the last two New Zealand squads in this format. He believes there is still enough time to return with the side set to play a lot of matches leading up to the main event in India.
Taylor was speaking ahead of the third ODI against Bangladesh in Wellington, having been passed fit following a hamstring injury that kept him out of the first two games.
"I think I've still got ambitions on the T20 World Cup," Taylor said. "I think there's still a lot to go. The selectors have wanted to give these guys the opportunity which is fair enough. This is a good format, especially in New Zealand, for getting these guys into international cricket, if they are not going to play a lot of ODI and Test cricket. T20 is the logical way of bringing them into the side."
In the last two years, Taylor has played 14 out of New Zealand's 24 T20Is. He made 166 runs with two fifties against India last year, but saw his batting position go to new players like Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips. Taylor said that he was surprised to be dropped from the New Zealand team for the T20I series against Australia, and now Bangladesh. He got to play only four deliveries during the T20I series against West Indies in November last year.
"It was a bit of a surprise, getting player of the year and facing four balls. I am not going to lie. You have respect their decision that this is a format to give the guys an opportunity to play.
"I feel age is just a number. I am able to do a job that's required. There's a lot of cricket to be played in the winter. I will be around somewhere," he said.
After the Bangladesh T20I series at home, New Zealand are likely to play against Pakistan and Bangladesh again during their winter, ahead of the T20 World Cup. On Wednesday, New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said that they haven't yet ruled Taylor out entirely from their T20 plans.
"(New Zealand coach) Gary (Stead) has been working really closely and talking with Ross. Ross sits in behind those current group of incumbents that we've got now," Larsen told stuff.co.nz. "As we said when we didn't pick Ross originally it was a really tough decision and I'll say that again because we know his pedigree and the quality. We know and Ross has stated to us that he's still keen and he thinks he can still contribute. From our side as selectors that's great. We always take the approach of 'never say never'. We know he's sitting there and if we needed to call for Ross then we know he'd be jumping out of his skin."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84