Cricket: Ross Taylor's amazing conversion rate

By Cameron McMillan

Ross Taylor celebrates his 17th ODI hundred. Photosport
Ross Taylor celebrates his 17th ODI hundred. Photosport

A 34.6 per cent conversion rate would be certainly enough to see a rugby kicker lose their job but it's an outstanding number for New Zealand's new ODI century holder Ross Taylor.

Taylor yesterday passed Nathan Astle at the all-time list when he scored his 17th one-day ton, his first against South Africa, in the Black Caps' six run win in Christchurch.

The 32-year-old needed a four off the last ball of the New Zealand innings to reach three figures and keep his 50-100 conversion rate above 30 percent.

Of the 11 New Zealanders to score more than 4000 ODI runs, Taylor is in a class of his own in the ability to turn fifties into hundreds. He has 32 fifties to go along with his 17 hundreds. The next best is the man he passed yesterday - Astle, who scored 41 fifties and 16 hundreds.

Taylor's former mentor Martin Crowe, often rated New Zealand's greatest batsman, had a conversion rate of 10.5 per cent in his career including six scores in the nineties.

Taylor has just two scores in the nineties of his 166 innings.

On the other end of the scale, Chris Harris has the lowest conversion rate of 5.8 per cent with one century and 16 fifties, however 10 of his half-centuries were not out due to the fact he usually batted lower down the order.

The most fifties without a hundred is held by Andrew Jones who passed 50 25 times - his highest score was 93 against Bangladesh. Former teammate John Wright has the lowest career conversion for New Zealand players with one century and 24 fifties giving him a conversion rate of 4 per cent.

Speaking to the Radio Sport Breakfast this morning, Taylor admitted he wasn't aware he had the leading conversion rate.

"At four you've got to bat the situation, I guess like the other positions, but there are so many different scenarios if you're chasing or setting a total to take the game deep," Taylor said.

Listen: Ross Taylor on the Radio Sport Breakfast

"As we know with our New Zealand boundaries, if we can keep wickets in hand you can catch up in those last 10 overs and if you can still be batting in the end then more often than not you'll be close to a hundred."

Taylor said reaching the 17 century mark has been a goal of his and looking ahead his next challenge is to play at a fourth Cricket World Cup.

"It was definitely a goal. I've got to reassess. One of my major goals is to trying to get to the 2019 World Cup and hopefully go one step further than we did in 2015 but there's still a lot of cricket to be played before then and form and age and all that type of stuff."

The 17th century wasn't Taylor's only milestone reached in yesterday's victory. He also became the fourth New Zealander to reach 6000 ODI runs and now sits only 32 runs shy of passing third-placed Brendon McCullum.

Even more impressive he became just the sixth international player to score a century against every major cricketing nation, joining Ricky Ponting, Herschelle Gibbs, Sachin Tendulkar, Hashim Amla and Virat Kohli.

Conversion rates of scores past 50 turned in hundreds
Ross Taylor 34.6% (17 100s, 32 50s)
Nathan Astle 28% (16 100s, 41 50s)
Martin Guptill 26% (11 100s, 32 50s)
Kane Williamson 21.6% (8 100s, 29 50s)
Brendon McCullum 13.5% (5 100s, 32 50s)
Stephen Fleming 14% (8 100s, 49 50s)
Chris Cairns 13.7% (4 100s, 25 50s)
Scott Styris 12.5% (4 100s, 28 50s)
Martin Crowe 10.5% (4 100s, 34 50s)
Craig McMillan 9.6% (3 100s, 28 50s)
Chris Harris 5.8% (1 100, 16 50s)

*New Zealand players to score more than 4000 runs

** Clarification: An earlier version wrongly calculated the conversion rates mentioned throughout the article.

- NZ Herald

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