Ross Taylor will soon be spending a lot less time on the cricket field and there’s one person who’s going to be delighted with this change. “My daughter still hasn’t grasped the concept of five-day cricket yet. When I got out the other day she said, ‘Come on, Dad, let’s go home.” On Sunday, Taylor will be playing his final Test match of a career that began in 2007. He has seen great heights – hitting the runs that made New Zealand the first-ever Test world champions – and great falls, especially during a captaincy tenure that went horribly wrong.
New Zealand will play Australia across three ODIs and three T20Is later this year. Perhaps that might be the time Taylor really figures out what it means to hang up those well-worn boots. For now, he is completely focused helping his team bounce back from 1-0 down against a fighting Bangladesh in Christchurch. Taylor has made his name in the cricketing world for his unorthodox batting, with the “tongue out” celebration on reaching a 100 being his trademark.
Retirement has not yet sunk in with Taylor
“It doesn’t feel like it, my last game,” he said. “It hasn’t really dawned on me just yet. I suppose when you’ve still got one-dayers to go… if it was my last game full stop, then definitely it might feel a little bit different. It’s all to play for here at a ground that we know well. I still think we’re learning how to play in the Mount,” he said. “But we know what to expect a lot more here than we did in the Mount (Maunganui), I think. It’s going to have bounce and carry the whole time. There’s going to be a lot of grass on it.
“So, if we win the toss, we’re more often than not going to bowl and if you’re batting first, you’ve got to scrap through. Sometimes our lower order has got us out of trouble. So just trying to scrap to 200 can be well above par. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“They were patient, they brought the stumps into play, they made us hit straight down the ground and a lot of our players probably haven’t faced reverse swing for a majority of their careers,” he said. “It’s probably only been sporadic in the domestic circuit. And they bowled very well with it. Got it going both ways. But here, in Christchurch, the conditions will suit us a lot more than they probably did in the Mount.”