Ross Taylor had a particularly disappointing tour of India, managing merely 20 runs in four innings. He hit his lowest point in New Zealand’s second innings at the Wankhede Stadium where he kept slogging at each of the eight balls he faced before he top-edged a slog-sweep off R Ashwin and was dismissed for 6.
Gary Stead, NZ Head Coach, pointed out that Taylor’s lack of game-time – he had not played a single competitive match between the World Test Championship final in June and the Test series of the India tour in November-December – contributed to his problems with the bat.
“Ross has had a disappointing tour by his standards, but he’s been an exceptional player for New Zealand for a long, long period of time,” Stead said. “So he’s not the only guy that has come to India or Asian conditions and struggled over here. I think there’s some factors behind it, with the lack of match-time beforehand. We had a number of trainings or a couple of trainings before the second Test that was washed out as well.
“I think Ross will look back and be disappointed at that himself. It’s a fine balance here, though, between trying to play aggressively and put the spinners under some pressure and also trusting your defence to bat for long periods.
“If you look throughout the whole Test, I think Mayank Agarwal was one of the few players that actually managed to do that and we still went past his outside edge on a regular basis as well. I think there were only two-three players in the whole Test match that reached 50 and Agarwal was obviously the exception in getting to a 150.”
Kane Williamson’s absence due to injury means Taylor could still make it in the home Test series against Bangladesh at Bay Oval in the new year. Taylor is also just three Tests away from becoming New Zealand’s most capped player in the format, but considering the progress of upcoming players like Will Young, Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra, Taylor’s No.4 spot isn’t as secure as it used to be before.
“I think the thing that’s encouraging for our team is we have more options now than what we did have a year or two years ago,” Stead said. “You’ve seen the emergence of Will Young and Daryl Mitchell, in particular, who have come onto the Test scene and done really well.
“But let’s not also forget that Ross Taylor has an amazing record behind him as well. He’s been one of New Zealand’s premier batsmen for a long, long period of time, and you don’t lose that class just over one tour.
“I’ve got to get home and speak with the selectors and have a conversation with Ross as well, around where he sees his game going forward.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.