Chris Rattue 's Opinion

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue: NZ desperately needed Taylor to show his stuff in SA

103 comments
Taylor could have used his bat to turn a dethroning into crowning glory against the No 1 test team, says Rattue. Photo / AP
Taylor could have used his bat to turn a dethroning into crowning glory against the No 1 test team, says Rattue. Photo / AP

Ross Taylor should have taken a deep breath, let the #!@# land elsewhere where it belonged, and joined the New Zealand side on this tour to South Africa.

I say this as a total Taylor admirer, a supporter of his captaincy, and with an understanding of the justifiable anger which led to his decision to quit this tour. But his decision is the wrong one.

It was actually a shock to hear he had opted out and it did make me wonder about his temperament, which I had never doubted before.

Taylor could have used his bat to turn a dethroning into crowning glory against the No 1 test team and leading one-day side. Instead, emotions have been allowed to overflow unwisely.

Hopefully, Taylor can somehow still join this major tour, and maybe the great Martin Crowe will similarly reconsider his decision to protest by quitting as a national talent scout.

The sporting crimes committed by coach Mike Hesson - who disgracefully undermined the captain mid-tour - and the other fools who botched the captaincy situation include a failure to give Taylor the space to come to his senses about South Africa.

Hesson, meanwhile, is lucky to still have his job. The coach has performed so badly that a man supposedly blading a captain for poor communication skills was unable to make it clear what exactly he was sacking him from.

My suspicion is that Taylor is dead right in saying that the meeting in a Sri Lanka hotel room was called to dump him as skipper in all three positions and not just the two short form games.

Whatever the very important detail, nobody in that room should have had any doubt about what was being proposed. What the heck were they doing in there - arguing over the room service menu?

If Taylor feels humiliated, he need not worry. The humiliation is with Hesson and co, whereas Taylor has a sports community behind him, even if some don't believe he is the man for the captaincy.

Whatever happened prior to the second test in Sri Lanka, Taylor's performance there had to mean he kept the job.

Having watched a man he was letting down score more than 200 runs in a tremendous victory, Hesson should have apologised to Taylor for being a stuff-up and offered his wholehearted support to the captain for what lay ahead.

But whatever the emotions, a tour to South Africa is not to be missed and Taylor is paid to play cricket. He needed to pick up his bat, give Brendon McCullum the support that Taylor himself was denied by people who should know better, and got on with his fabulous test career.

Life is too short to miss out on such opportunities, and in the scheme of world injustices, a lot worse happens to millions on a daily basis. When Taylor does resume, the personnel situation is unlikely to have changed and the ill-feeling might only have increased in the vacuum.

Taylor may be heading to an exalted place in New Zealand sport, and the irony of this bizarre controversy is that it has spotlighted his class to a wider audience.

Taylor's match-winning innings in Sri Lanka glows brighter, now we know the disgraceful circumstances, and the ensuing controversy has put him on the nation's lips.

South Africa are the best team in the world and New Zealand desperately need Taylor there. It is a royal chance for the man himself to show his best stuff. These opportunities don't come along very often, especially for a lowly-ranked team.

Likewise, Crowe - a genius player and analyst - HAS to be encouraged back into a position of influence.

The players, fans, history and what happens out in the middle remain the same. Knucklehead management types who have had a couple of very bad days don't change that.

- NZ Herald

Chris Rattue

Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Chris Rattue writes about a wide range of sports for the New Zealand Herald. He has covered numerous sporting events for the Herald including Rugby World Cups and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Read more by Chris Rattue

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 23 Jul 2014 14:40:35 Processing Time: 635ms