Thursday, 28 December 2006

Taylor in Napier

After so much waiting and anticipation for Ross Taylor's inclusion in the New Zealand team I wouldn't have been surprised to have seen him fail miserably in his first game back. But instead he smacked a brilliant unbeaten century against Sri Lanka. Along the way he suffered pretty severe leg cramps. The last New Zealand batsman to suffer leg cramps was Mark Richardson and I bet Ross wouldn't be too unhappy to end up with a similar career record. Cramps apart though, you couldn't pick two more different players than Richardson and Taylor. Where Richardson was technically correct with a rock solid defence, Taylor seems to rely on a good eye, fast hands and a very heavy bat. It took a while for Taylor's feet to start moving (nerves perhaps?) and sometimes he played across his pads, so he isn't the most classical batsman - but when he started playing shots he played beautifully. His opening boundary - an off-drive off Vaas - a gentle flick off his toes for six off Malinga and a trio of thumping leg-side wallops will live in the memory for a long time.

1 comment:

parker said...

Well done Ross Taylor, shame about the result. If we’re lucky he could become our Pietersen. At worst, another McMillian. We could have done with McCullum batting down the order as well as up – which I agree is also a good position for him, even though he failed this time. Adams should be able to step into McCullum’s old role, and is possibly batting too low at 9. Hamish Marshall is also batting way too low. Forget James Marshall for the moment. It’s all too experimental for my liking. Loosing a series to Sri Lanka in the name of pre-Word Cup experimentation is not good preparation, though I would worry about the workload on injury-prone players such as Bond and Oram. Still, the later needs all the preparation he can get, as can Fleming, who hasn’t showed any form so far.

I’m really looking forward to the triangular series in Australia; the chance to beat the English again (shouldn’t be too much of a problem) and the challenge of playing those rampant Aussies. That should be great World Cup prep, and I hope that the series won’t be undermined by over-experimentation in all teams.