2019 Cricket World Cup, Game 9, Bangladesh v New Zealand
Who is Ross Taylor? If you had to allocate a chair to Ross Taylor and you wanted to write out a card representing his status in cricket so that he knew where to sit, what would you put?
Sure, you could just put ‘Ross Taylor’ or ‘Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor’ if you wanted to go belt and braces. But imagine it’s a big event for all the big people in cricket and everyone’s got a little job description on there as well (or, as our old abbreviation-addicted boss would have it “a job descrip”).
What would you put for Ross Taylor?
Kane Williamson is New Zealand’s best batsman. He’s also their captain. Ross Taylor used to be both of those things. Taylor currently holds a bunch of New Zealand batting records, but these days everyone assumes that he’s only keeping hold of them until Williamson’s old enough to be entrusted with them.
Ross Taylor is also one of the greatest one-day batsmen of all time, only no-one’s quite sure what that means right now. This year he is averaging 75. Last year he averaged 91. The year before that he averaged 60. And no-one really talks about this.
Taylor doesn’t score his runs as dramatically as Jos Buttler, he doesn’t score as many hundreds as Rohit Sharma, he fails to actually be Virat Kohli – which is something that would definitely help his profile considerably. Ross Taylor lacks a niche.
Ross Taylor is the guy who scored hundreds when he couldn’t actually see very well and who then had surgery on his actual eyeball to have something removed. Ross Taylor is the guy who was deposed as captain in a way that still feels a little uncomfortable even now, seven years later. Ross Taylor is a guy who loves fried chicken. Ross Taylor sticks his tongue out when he hits a ton.
These are just fragments. They don’t really make a whole. We have no idea where Ross Taylor is supposed to sit.