Is it the end of the road for Ross Taylor in the New Zealand whites?
It might be time for the Black Caps to bite the bullet and show the way out for Taylor.
Updated - Dec 7, 2021 11:51 am
Ross Taylor had recorded scores of 11,2 and 1 in the 3 innings he had played in the Test series against India. And, the Kiwi veteran entered to bat in the second innings of the second Test against India under pressure, with his back against the wall.
New Zealand were set a near-impossible target of 540 for victory in the final innings, with the Indian spinners ready to hunt them down. And, off the 8th delivery that he faced, Taylor committed a cricketing version of a suicide.
Ravichandran Ashwin tossed the ball up to Taylor, and the right-hander went for a wild heave. The ball took the top edge of his willow and Cheteshwar Pujara completed the catch. Taylor departed for just 6 and ended the series with a grand total of 20 runs in 4 innings.
Yes, getting dismissed is one thing. But, to go for a wild, irresponsible heave with his side chasing a gargantuan target, with two full days left in the Test match, especially after playing 110 Tests is the last thing that one would expect from a batter of Taylor’s calibre, isn’t it?
And, after such poor returns in the entire series, and with such a disappointing shot in his final innings of the Test series against India, Taylor will surely not be a happy man. And now, the question is, is it time for New Zealand to look beyond Taylor in Test match cricket?
Ross Taylor’s dwindling returns in Tests since 2020
In the last 2 years, Taylor has been in abysmal form in the whites. In the table below, let us take a look at Taylor’s numbers in Test cricket since January 2020.
Since January 2020, Taylor has played 20 innings, but has failed to score even a single Test hundred. He averages below 30 and has also scored only 2 half-centuries. Also, he has failed to cross the 20-run mark in 12 out of his last 20 Test innings. And, these are returns that a batsman of Taylor’s class will not be proud of.
Ross Taylor’s abysmal away record in Tests since 2018
Well, there is more to the Taylor story. Next up, let us analyze Taylor’s numbers in away shores in Test cricket since January 2018. The table below will elucidate the same.
Since January 2018, Taylor has played 25 innings away from home in Test match cricket. But, the veteran has not managed to score even a single away Test century. Also, he averages a paltry 25.82 in the last 4 years in away Test matches, with just 4 fifties against his name.
Also, in 14 out of the 25 innings that he has played in away shores in the last 4 years, the right-handed batting colossus has not crossed the 20-run mark. And definitely, this is a cause of concern for the Black Caps’ legend.
Is it time for New Zealand to look beyond Ross Taylor in Test match cricket?
So, that brings us to the question. Has time run out for Ross Taylor? Is it time for the Black Caps to bite the bullet and show the way out for Taylor? In a Test career that has spanned a decade and a half, Taylor has emerged as one of the greatest players to have ever picked a cricket bat for New Zealand, and there is no debating that.
Taylor is the highest run-scorer for the Kiwis in Test match cricket with 7584 runs to his name, has scored 19 Test centuries, and has been a bedrock of the Kiwi batting lineup. But then, his run in the whites in the last 2 years has been abysmal. Also, the more concerning factor is the right-hander’s inability to stand up on away shores for New Zealand.
Taylor is already 37 years old and is not getting younger anymore. The chances of the batting colossus making another comeback, especially at his age, after 2 years of failure appear bleak. And, this might possibly be the end of the road for the Kiwi legend in Test match cricket.
Will we see Taylor in the whites for New Zealand ever again? Well, we will get our answer in a few months’ time.