Veteran batsman Ross Taylor, who is New Zealand’s top scorer in the tests and spent his country through a difficult phase on the reserve day to win the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) on Wednesday, fits into the “we don’t always have the stars” description given from Kane Williamson on Wednesday night.
Taylor, who began his test career in 2007, quietly spun 14 years of test cricket, playing 108 tests and scoring 7,564 tracks. The 37-year-old batsman will soon be overtaken by Kane Williamson, who is behind him with 334 tracks, but he will certainly come down as one of the greats of New Zealand.
At one point, when R Ashwin was trying to put India in a winning position in the final session of the WTC final on Wednesday in Southampton, after removing the openers, Taylor relaxed and paid due respect to the off-spinner. He failed to open his account for the first 18 deliveries.
Feeling that playing the slogan, which was his strength, might not be perfect, as Ashwin bowled a solid line from stump to stump, Taylor became a little straighter and hit a four in the middle to break the shackles. A few balls later, as Ashwin tried to push the line away, Taylor dug it in the middle. He was far away and finished with 100 balls 47, not out.
New Zealand may not have seen him negotiate a testing period that day if they won the 2019 World Cup. Earlier, Taylor had said he would retire if the Kiwis won the World Cup 50 years ago in England. But the desire to get to the top kept him going.
Former New Zealand goalkeeper Ian Smith has said Taylor’s time is not over. “He deserves a final cheer in New Zealand. I think he deserves to go around the cricket field in New Zealand and people to recognize him, to recognize the people and just enjoy another season,” Smith told Stuff.co. nz
“I’d think that’s the way to go – I’m not saying that’s how it’s going to go.”
Smith believes Taylor is in New Zealand’s best XI cricket. “He will be at our best cricket XI and will be there by the end of the year. He deserves to be too,” said Smith, who is now a commentator.
“He had the honor of leading New Zealand and has been the oldest statesman in this country for a long time. I work in comment fields around the world and he has an extremely high reputation around the world.”
This is not the first time Taylor has put India in trouble with cotton wool. Two years ago, in the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup, the right-wing batsman scored 74 of 90 deliveries to help the Kiwis reach a racing total from where they won.
While on Wednesday he shared an undefeated stand for the third gate with 96 wins, he shared with the captain of New Zealand 65 stands for the same door in Manchester in the 2019 World Cup.
“Obviously with Ross, our most experienced player and leader in the group, it was good that we managed to absorb some of the tension and then do a few runs together, although it was really hard to get. But to have an experienced striker like Ross he was certainly useful there, “Williamson said after the match.
While Taylor has an average test against India of 34.8, his average against them outside India (48.8) is well above his career average of 45.84.
On Wednesday, he proved why he is a player in big games and even the praised Indian bowling team did not have to answer him.