Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, in his auto-biography ‘Declared’, has slammed his former teammate Ross Taylor for his uninspiring captaincy. He has written that Taylor’s tenure as the captain of the New Zealand team took the team to the brink of collapse.
Out of so many bitter chapters in world Cricket, Greg Chappell-Sourav Ganguly and Ross Taylor-Mike Hesson confrontation created maximum headlines across the world for all the wrong reasons. After an uninspiring show in 2012, New Zealand cricket board, on the recommendation of Coach Mike Hesson, decided to introduce a split-captaincy method, giving the limited overs duty to Brendon McCullum and kept Ross Taylor at the helm of Test duty. Taylor’s confrontation with Hesson started after the latter suggested to the board that they make McCullum captain in the limited-over format. The move displeased Taylor, and he declined the offer of the board to continue as the Test skipper.
When Daniel Vettori gave up the captaincy, Ross Taylor was selected as the captain of the side edging out Brendon McCullum. Although Taylor was selected through a public process then, McCullum was not pleased about the procedure.
Releasing his autobiography, McCullum has allocated a separate chapter for this episode named as “the coup that wasn’t”, in which he slammed Taylor for his uninspiring leadership.
He has written, “Either Ross was highly resistant to my captaining the team and
McCullum wrote that with the failure of John Wright as a coach, had already burdened Taylor before the appointment of Hesson as the new coach.
"It seemed to me that, right from the start, Ross was suspicious of Hess's motives. So instead of taking Hess on his merits, Ross seemed already closed to him. I knew there had been a bit of talk behind the scenes after Hesson's appointment, and that some were seeing a conspiracy.”
"It wasn't a very complicated scenario they were pushing: that my mate Stephen Fleming had influenced the selection board to give the coaching job to my other mate Mike Hesson, whose ultimate goal was to replace Ross as captain with me. One problem with that narrative was that I had recommended Matthew Mott to the selection panel, but details like that tend to spoil a good conspiracy theory, and as events unfolded, it was clear that logic would play an ever-diminishing role," he wrote.
However, Brendon feels that all the problems began with the public selection process of the captaincy in 2011. The panel, which consisted of John Wright, Mark Greatbatch, Buchanan and Justin Vaughan, would select the captain by hearing the schemes of both the party. But with the past relationship of Wright, McCullum didn't have any trust in him and knew about the relation of Greatbatch and Taylor from their days in Wairarapa, but he was astonished by the absence of Justin Vaughn in the panel which meant the result was palpable.
McCullum wrote, "That would have been a long, awkward day for Greatbatch had his panel appointed me captain!
"And the fact that I hadn't been astute enough to work out that applying for the captaincy wasn't the right thing to do -- and, worse, I'd willingly engaged in that process -- proved I wasn't ready for it. But neither was Ross. He'd made the same mistake. He was younger than me and, I believe, no more ready for the captaincy than I was. And he was just as compromised by New Zealand Cricket's decision to have a public selection process. What happened next made us both a lot wiser -- and certainly older -- but it gouged a rift between us that will probably never heal."