Cricket: Taylor's start as skipper rivals Black Caps' best

By Andrew Alderson

Ross Taylor. Photo / APN
Ross Taylor. Photo / APN

Ross Taylor's record as a test captain and player during his tenure is better than a number of prestigious New Zealand cricket captains at the same 13-month point in their leadership careers.

Compare Taylor's record against his immediate predecessor Daniel Vettori and three captains considered visionary by New Zealand standards - Stephen Fleming, Martin Crowe and Geoff Howarth. Taylor has a superior winning record (31 per cent) than all but Fleming (40 per cent) during that initial period. Taylor's results include two test wins against Zimbabwe (home and away) but also two away series draws against Australia and Sri Lanka. Of the five skippers, Taylor had to play the highest percentage (69 per cent) of his 13 matches away. Howarth played only 29 per cent away but faced a debut three-test home series as skipper against the West Indies in their pomp.

Taylor's test batting average (49.85 as captain compared to 43.57 overall) is second only to Crowe (87.00 compared to 45.36). Crowe's first five tests in charge included the highest New Zealand test match score, 299 versus Sri Lanka.

In contrast, Fleming's initial period, saw his average drop to 30.94. His career average was 40.06.

Vettori is the only all-rounder among the five. His batting average went up from 30.10 to 35.71 and his bowling down from 34.42 to 28.31.

- Herald on Sunday

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