In recent times it must have seemed slightly odd for the older hands to glance around the New Zealand changing room and not see Ross Taylor parked up in a corner.

He has been absent quite a bit since before Christmas when he had surgery on his left eye. Take a long established piece of furniture out of a room and you notice the hole.

Taylor has been around the New Zealand dressing room since March 2006, he's New Zealand's most experienced player and yesterday reinforced his status as one of their most valuable.

His 16th ODI century, 107 off 101 balls, was a great innings without which New Zealand would have been in a jam.


Only Nathan Astle has made as many in 50-over internationals for the country, and Taylor has achieved his significantly faster. It was his fourth century in all forms against Australia following his 117 at Eden Park in the 2007 ODI; 138 in the test at Seddon Park in 2010 and his monumental 290 at the WACA Ground in Perth late in 2016.

Captain Kane Williamson praised Taylor's performance and one sentence hung in the air: "He knows what he's doing." A cynic might suggest so he should by this time, which misses the point.

Taylor recognised, once Tom Latham and Williamson had gone, there was a job to be done, and he was central to it.

"I think today was one of his best one-day hundreds," Williamson said. "He hardly faced a dot ball on a wicket [on which it was] quite hard to rotate strike. The way he was able to pick up the ones was brilliant."

Taylor spotted opener Dean Brownlie a 36-run start and beat him to 50. The pair worked well, accepted some of the bowling demanded respect but kept things going.

"Him being the constant throughout the innings [Taylor was seventh out, having scored 107 of 170 while in the middle] was important."

Taylor has looked more assertive since returning from the eye surgery.

There might be a small technical change as well, but since the start of the Pakistan series in November he has scored 11, 37, 102 not out, 40, 60, 77, 16 and 107 in all forms. That's 450 runs at 64.

Next up for New Zealand are South Africa, against whom he's yet to make a test century.

You don't want to tempt fate, but right now he's in the sort of form to give that duck a decent shake.

Ross Taylor's 16 ODI hundreds:
128* v Sri Lanka, Napier, 2006
117v Australia, Eden Park, 2007
103 v Bangladesh, Chittagong, 2008
131* v Pakistan, Pallekele, 2011
119 v Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, 2011
110 v West Indies, Basseterre, 2012
100 v England, Napier, 2013
107* v Bangladesh, Fatullah, 2013
112* v India, Hamilton, 2014
102 v India, Wellington, 2014
105* v Pakistan, Dubai, 2014
102* v Pakistan, Napier, 2015
119* v England, The Oval, 2015
110 v England, Southampton, 2015
112* v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2015
107 v Australia, Hamilton, 2017