'Captaincy came a couple of years before I was ready' - Ross Taylor

By David Leggat

Ross Taylor in action for the Black Caps at the ICC T20 World Cup in India earlier this year. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor in action for the Black Caps at the ICC T20 World Cup in India earlier this year. Photo / Getty Images

Former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has admitted the national team leadership came to him a couple of years too early.

Taylor, appointed skipper in all forms in June 2011, was replaced by Brendon McCullum late in 2012 in one of the most acrimonious periods in recent New Zealand cricket history.

"I guess yes and no, on it [captaincy] being a childhood dream," Taylor said in an interview with Cricinfo.

"I always thought I could do it but it came a couple of years before I was ready. I was just getting into a bit of form and then had the added responsibility of being captain.

"Until you do the job, you don't realise how much there is involved in it. Your brain is ticking the whole time.

"The only time you aren't thinking cricket is when you aren't playing. And with the amount of cricket being played now, that's not very often."

In Taylor's last test in charge, he made 142 and 74 to help steer New Zealand to a large win in Sri Lanka. Earlier in his reign, New Zealand beat Australia by seven runs in a thriller in Hobart.

He had been appointed after a curious process in which he and McCullum had to go through an interview to get the job.

They were interviewed by then national coach John Wright, the then director of cricket John Buychanan and acting national selection head Mark Greatbatch.

"I don't know many people who would have to interview to become the national team captain, so that was a strange thing to deal with. It was bizarre, very bizarre," Taylor said.

"It was an honour and a privilege to get the job but I really don't know how to describe it. I guess when I write my book I'll go into depth a bit more, but it was different. At least when I finish my cricket career I can say I've had one job interview."

Taylor, whose 290 at Perth late last year is the highest score by a visiting batsman in Australia, breaking a 104-year-old record. His form remains good and he hopes, with luck to keep playing until his late 30s.

He believes captaincy "brought out the best in my game, but it's an unrewarding job".
Taylor, now playing for Sussex in English county cricket, said good times are ahead for New Zealand under new skipper Kane Williamson.

"It has the potential to be the best New Zealand side.

"We've got quite a lot of young talent coming through and there are a couple of big test series in the next couple of years. It's nice to be a part of it.

"Kane and Brendon are totally different people. Being vice-captain, like Kane was, is hard, as vice-captaincy is one of the toughest jobs in cricket. Now he's captain full time, he is not coming in and treading on any toes.

"I'm sure he will do very well as captain, and in the future Kane will be one of the best ever batsmen. Scoring runs, as he's doing, and having him as captain bodes well for the future of New Zealand."

- NZ Herald

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