Ross Taylor, who scored a well-made 80 in the ongoing Test, has admitted that it felt a lot better to get the runs and get some sort of rhythm going, leading into the WTC Final. The experienced batsman also praised fellow domestic teammate, Will Young for making an immediate impact at No.3.
Barring the 70 against Pakistan in Mount Maunganui last year, Ross Taylor’s form has been scratchy with several low scores in the last two years. In the three innings before the Saturday one, Taylor returned with scores of 12, 14 and 33, showcasing his struggle with the bat. While England were confident that they had the wood over the right-hander, he tackled the challenge well.
On day two and three, Taylor showed the best of his defence, feet movement, to score a scintillating 80, which took New Zealand to a first-innings total of 388, taking a large lead over the hosts. Following the innings, Taylor admitted that he felt a lot better getting the runs, stating that he has some rhythm going his way before the WTC final against India.
“If you don’t score runs in the first innings, you don’t get to bat in the second, back home. So it was nice to contribute in the first innings and get some rhythm. I felt a lot better, I have moved as well as I have. It is nice to get the confidence up high before the final. It would have been nice to have gone on,“ said Taylor in the post-day press conference.
However, Taylor was still critical of the fact that the batters couldn’t take the BlackCaps to a 100-run lead in the first innings. On the other hand, the experienced batsman credited the bowling unit, led by Matt Henry for their performance before tea.
“If I have to be really honest, it would have been nice to get a 100-run lead but you have to give credit to the English bowlers. They bowled well and applied pressure, Ajaz and Boult taking us to the 80-run lead was crucial. Matt Henry before the tea and the rest of the guys after tea, being nine down, we didn’t see that happening.”
Taylor also pointed out that England’s opener Rory Burns was a crucial dismissal for them, especially with the way the Kiwi bowlers have bowled against left-handed batsmen. Once Burns was dismissed, England quickly found themselves reeling 30/3, a score that turned into 122/9 at the end of the day.
“I think you need early wickets and getting the middle-order ready with the pad ready was good to see. To get Burns out, he has been very hard to dismiss in this series, which set the tone. We knew there was a big contingency of right-handers to come and our bowlers have bowled well to right-handers.
“It is a testament to them and the group in itself. There were a couple of forced changes and a few rotations as well, they played a crucial role. The three players (Young, Henry, Ajaz) the selectors have got good back-ups for the World Test Championship final.”
An injury to Kane Williamson provided Will Young with the rare opportunity of playing at No.3, an opportunity that he took with both hands, scoring an 82. Taylor credited his fellow Northern District player, stating that he will take a lot of confidence from the knock, against England.
“It is always nice to see domestic teammates do well. It would have been nice to see him go on and make that hundred. He definitely would take that 80, the confidence, the learning and the county cricket stint has helped him. He’s learning a lot and to come and replace Kane isn’t an easy feat, I’m sure he will get a lot of confidence from that.“