Monday, March 17, 2008

New Zealand's rising star

The excellent cricket museum at the Basin Reserve in Wellington celebrates New Zealand’s proud cricket history very well. One of the displays is a selection of “New Zealand’s greatest ever XI” - from the present team only, and rightly, Daniel Vettori makes the team although Stephen Fleming must have been a near miss. Should the Kiwis repeat this exercise in five or so year’s time I suspect that one more of the current team will be firmly in the frame. Ross Taylor, playing in only his fourth Test match, looks a truly outstanding prospect. Taylor had a faltering start to Test cricket last November in South Africa where he failed to impress – he was subsequently left out of the Kiwi team for the one-sided home Bangladesh series. Recalled for the First Test against England in Hamilton Taylor scored a fine century – and he has now followed this with a fifty in each innings in the Second Test at Wellington.

Ross Taylor, at only 24 years of age, lacks First Class cricket experience – he has played only 67 First Class innings – although he has already played 38 One Day Internationals. Given this imbalance it was perhaps not surprising that, at Wellington, he seemed to lose concentration in both innings once he reached his half-century and almost immediately got out. Nevertheless he is a player with all the shots – including the defensive ones - and it will be a surprise if he does not succeed in all forms of the game.

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