Cricket: I'll bat where I'm put, says Taylor

By David Leggat

Former captain has no regrets over withdrawing from South African tour

Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor. Photo / Getty Images

As of lunchtime yesterday, Ross Taylor didn't know where he'd be batting on his return to the New Zealand side at Eden Park tomorrow.

"I'll bat where I'm put," he said as he contemplated his 48th T20, against England.

And in one sentence it was the clearest example of Taylor's significantly changed circumstances in the national team from the last time he'd been in the fold, running the show in Sri Lanka before Christmas.

Taylor's ill-timed dumping as New Zealand captain after guiding the side to a 167-run win in Sri Lanka in December produced furious fallout, with the flak aimed almost entirely at NZ Cricket and the man who oversaw his axing, coach Mike Hesson.

Speaking after his first practice with his old/new teammates, Taylor made it clear he had "no regrets" over withdrawing from the tour to South Africa, was cagey on his recent meeting with Hesson, and doubted there was much wrong with his relationship with the player who has replaced him as skipper, Brendon McCullum.

"It's a work in progress," Taylor said of the outcome of his meeting with Hesson. "It went well, and I just want to get out and play some cricket."

Had the work in progress, er, progressed in recent days?

"It's where it left off in Sri Lanka. We won that last test [there] so can't complain."

He would not go into details on what was said at the meeting but insisted he held no grudges.

"I can't speak for anyone else. But I've just been acting my normal self; I don't think there's anything there."

However, Taylor conceded that getting axed before the first test in Sri Lanka did not come entirely "out of the blue". Could he sense it coming? "Yes".

Could he expand on that? "I can't elaborate on it too much. I've said what I have to say in the past."

His comeback after a six-week layoff significantly strengthens New Zealand's batting, although Taylor admitted, on the strength of a couple of games for Central Districts and work in the nets, that he was not quite where he'd hoped to be, but not far off.

Taylor said he believed all parties wanted to move on.

"There's probably people outside the team that want to stir it up a bit. We can't control that."

He had caught up with McCullum yesterday morning, hadn't had a chance for a sit-down, but expected that would happen in the next day or two.

It wouldn't be a clear-the-air meeting as "I don't think there was anything wrong with our relationship in the first place".

Whatever had taken place would not stop Taylor offering his advice to McCullum if he thought he had a point worth making.

"Regardless of whether you're a senior or junior player, if you've got something to offer to the team you'd be silly not to."

- NZ Herald

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