Cricket: I feel like I never left - Taylor

By David Leggat

Ross Taylor's century against England in Napier may have seemed like the former skipper announcing himself back into the New Zealand setup, after sitting out the South African tour in December-January.

However the former skipper reckons he's never left it.

Taylor's even 100, his seventh ODI century, was his best innings by far since coming back into the national team after losing the leadership before Christmas to Brendon McCullum. It wasn't enough to win the game, England cleaning up by eight wickets to set up a decider in the three-game ANZ international series at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Taylor had struggled with his timing in the T20 games against England, but his game returned the longer he spent at the middle at McLean Park.

"I guess other people might see it that way," he said of his perceived sense of belonging again. "But in the time I've been in the team I've felt like I never left," Taylor said today.

"Different aspects have changed but they're still the same team mates I played with over the time and hopefully I can score a few more runs for them and win a few more games."

Taylor said coach Mike Hesson, the man who dumped him as captain after the tour to Sri Lanka, had said "well batted" after his return to the pavilion on Wednesday, but "I haven't had a lot to talk with Hess about.

"He comes and has the odd chat. Things are going fine."

Since his return at Eden Park on February 9 for the opening T20, Taylor has been feted with roaring ovations as he walks to the middle in every game.

"Coming out and getting a pretty amazing reception, that's not normal and you do put extra pressure on yourself, whether consciously or sub-consciously."

As for being tagged the 'people's champion' Taylor admitted "it's nice to get up for it and having the crowd do that makes it even easier to get up, as long as you don't get too hyped.

"It is a nice feeling and I guess that hundred was for all the people who have supported me over the last little while."

- NZ Herald

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