World Cup dream: Taylor-made for Black Caps great
WELLINGTON: Ross Taylor has been rejected, written off and wracked by injury but the veteran New Zealand batsman is in the form of his life and focused on capping a late career surge by finally lifting the World Cup.
While Taylor has made no formal retirement announcement, he openly acknowledges that, at 35, his fourth World Cup will probably be his last.
“England is a great tour to go on. The bus trips, playing at those traditional grounds — I couldn’t think of a better place to be if it is your last World Cup,” he said.
Despite his age, Taylor remains pivotal to the Black Caps’ hopes of going one better than their appearance in the 2015 tournament final and claiming a maiden title.
He is New Zealand’s most prolific run-scorer in ODIs, with 8,026 in 203 innings, giving him the highest ODI average of any Black Cap at 48.34.
The right-handed Taylor, who also has more ODI hundreds (20) than any other Kiwi, has hit new heights late in his 13-year career.
In Taylor’s three previous World Cups, New Zealand have exited twice in the semi-finals and made the final once, in 2015, only to suffer a seven-wicket drubbing at the hands of Australia in Melbourne.
Taylor said his teammates had learned from the experience and were better prepared to handle the pressure. “Making a final, playing in front of 93,000 people is something you never forget,” he said. “Getting so close last time, hopefully, we can use that as motivation to go one better.”