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Thread: Just how underrated is Ross Taylor?

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    International Captain Howsie's Avatar
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    Just how underrated is Ross Taylor?

    Had a discussion with a couple of people the other day about where you'd lump Ross Taylor in as a test cricketer, not so much as right now but over his whole career. I brought up the fact that he had a similar career record to Kevin Pietersen, albeit with half the games played. Now Pietersen is/was a better player but I don't think he's a million miles away like these people seemed to think he was.

    As it was I wasn't too fussed but to hear that apparently he wasn't even fit to tie Ian Bell's shoes, jesus. It's just the opinion of a couple of people but even on CW Taylor seems to be criminally underrated. I mean the other day I was browsing through a thread and Williamson, not Taylor was brought up as being one of the class middle order bats running around at present. I might joke about it but that's still a long way from happening, again though it just shows how little he's looked at.

    His career record isn't outstanding, it's really good but not top echelon obvs. But considering he's just turned 30, and for the best part of his first four years literally had nothing around him. Vettori down at eight and the odd game with Ryder, that was about it. He was the MAN from the get go, with a bunch of scrubs joining him every seven overs of so.
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    Taylor is class. I'll find my post from ages back about him.
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    40 average against the teams who've generally been the top 3/4 during his career, needs to do a lot more against quality attacks to even be mentioned with KP. Ian Bell at the same age a good comparison actually. Talented but needs to prove more against the big boys.
    Last edited by 91Jmay; 11-08-2014 at 06:34 PM.

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    I think he's rated pretty fairly, probably already considered one of NZ's top 5 batsmen and depending on how the rest of his career goes, could be in conversations as best ever - but his lack of discipline and the amount of soft dismissals he generates means that like Pietersen, he'll never be considered an all time great.

    I think at the end of his career, Crowe will still be seen as better than him and Williamson will likely surpass him.


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    Global Moderator Teja.'s Avatar
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    He's in the top 7-8 batsmen in the world with the top five a couple of leagues ahead, IMO. He's definitely underrated at times but not massively like say, Boult.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Flem274*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocky View Post
    but his lack of discipline and the amount of soft dismissals he generates
    Just because you keep repeating something it doesn't make it true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Me The Other Month
    Right, so this post is written from the perspective of judging Ross Taylor by world, not New Zealand, standards, why I think he's a bit of a hometown hero and what he needs to do to be a great. I might also compare him to Crowe a bit. Not because Taylor is better (he isn't), but because Taylor is in the middle of his career and he wants to break the records his mentor set.

    I've already written why I think he makes the New Zealand all time eleven and is our best batsman since Martin Crowe, so I won't do so again. I've also posted about his uncanny knack of only scoring hundreds when he walks to the crease with the team score below 100.

    His record at home probably surmounts every other batsman we've produced. He has 2365 @ 59.12 in tests in New Zealand. That's almost 10 runs ahead of Crowe and Crowe only scored 36 more runs in New Zealand from five more tests. Taylor has 8 hundreds at home. So does Crowe.

    Taylor has played two of his most memorable innings away from home. He announced himself to the world at Manchester. I can still remember lying awake listening to the radio. We were getting smashed. Oram couldn't pick the short balls. Flynn lost his teeth. Taylor was playing a different match. The English didn't have an answer to him. Fast forward four years to a time when Taylor walks o the crease to join Williamson at 10/2 knowing he has been deposed as the skipper, knowing Hesson wants no bar of him, knowing the knives are out after the first test humiliation. Taylor scores a hundred. In the second innings the team collapses. Taylor scores 75 before being run out by Southee. New Zealand win the game. Taylor gets deposed anyway.

    But he only has 3 hundreds away from home (the two innings above and a counter attacking knock against India, also as skipper) and he averages 36 away. He averages 29 in Australia with no hundreds. He made his test debut in South Africa and averages 11 there. He refused to tour the next time the team traveled there because of his mental state after the captaincy saga. He has been mediocre in India and the West Indies, averaging 32 and 36 respectively. His only good touring countries are England (42), Sri Lanka (50) and Zimbabwe (76). Not even Bangladesh has been kind to him.

    From what I've gathered, a number of people seem to favour players averaging at least 40 everywhere for them to qualify for great status (along with a 50 average). Taylor doesn't, and his overall record against the long term best attack of his day (South Africa) isn't flash. South Africa (30), Australia (36) and Bangladesh (35) are the only two countries he averages less than 40 overall against. He's succeeded against the best spinners but only some of the world class fast bowlers, and not consistently. He dealt with Jimmy Anderson at Manchester and Ryan Harris at Hamilton (a game which also featured Doug Bollinger and old Johnson) in style, but not enough to bulk his record.

    In contrast, Crowe averages 40+ against everyone except India (35) and South Africa (20), and he faced South Africa right at the end of his career when his knee was done. Crowe was a mixed tourist, averaging 16 in India, 29 in Sri Lanka and 30 in the West Indies (down 15 runs from his overall average against the West Indies - he really must have enjoyed his home series against them). Crowe has 9 hundreds away from home at an average of 42.

    Taylor is in his prime now. He averages 59 since the start of 2012. He's averaging 45 away and a hilarious 8 ****ing 4 at home. He's scored all these runs despite this being quite a tumultuous period for his career where he was considering quitting if you believe Martin Crowe. He's been mediocre against England, though he improved as the home and away double header went on. He has a ton and nothing else from 3 tests against India (1 at home, 2 away). He had his crowning moment against Sri Lanka and he put the West Indies to the sword. While he averaged 57 in the home series with 171 runs against South Africa he didn't pass 50 and his averaged is boosted by a 48*. They also broke his arm. That 48* in partnership with McCullum (who was elevated to number three) was crucial to drawing the match, but Taylor spent most of that series getting to 40 and getting out (which explains the strangely high series average).

    The next few years will determine whether he is remembered as just very good or something more imo. Almost everything is in his favour - he has partners who can help him, bowlers who can skittle any opposition and he has over 50 tests to his name. He just needs a pair of bloody openers ahead of him. between 2008 - 2012 Ross Taylor was the New Zealand top six. He soaked up that pressure and performed. They made him captain. He kept performing. Now he has a chance to show he is New Zealand's best ever, and a true all time great.

    Do I think he can do it? Yes. Is the previous answer blind love? Yes. Do I think it will happen? Probably not. I don't know when we tour Australia and South Africa again and his technique is more flair based in the Ponting mould than a mechanic like Jacques Kallis. Taylor will decline at an earlier age than someone like Williamson will. Since Sri Lanka he's added a bit of the merciless accumulator to his game, which will help.

    I don't give a **** though, which is funny because I began writing this post as a checklist for things Ross needs to do to be an all time great. I think he will be remembered in the same way we remember Kevin Pietersen, VVS Laxman and his mentor Martin Crowe: they don't have all time great numbers but they left us with all time great memories. Nothing changes Taylor was the main man in our batting line up starting from his 6th test match. He rose to the challenge. He has played so many memorable knocks against good bowling attacks, and he will keep doing so until he retires.

    I'd love him to get all the pretty statistics to his name but I love him as he is - the back to the wall pressure sponge who puts good bowlers through the covers, who pokes his tongue out at every milestone and pulls weird faces while stumbling over his words in press conferences afterwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Just because you keep repeating something it doesn't make it true.
    You'd have something here if we were discussing his merits after his amazing run at home recently, but then in the West Indies - out of 4 dismissals

    110.2 82.4 kph, what a soft dismissal! That's tossed up on the stumps, and Taylor flicks it uppishly and straight to midwicket. The umpires want to check something, though. It's not a no-ball, that's for sure, and it isn't a bump ball either. It's bounced close to the bat, but it's gone straight off it and up in the air. Edwards took it at chest-height, with both his hands 277/4

    78.4 141.7 kph, Gabriel's patience has paid off! Or it it Taylor's impatience? A mix of the two.. Length delivery outside off and Taylor goes for an ill-advised on-the-up drive - he was looking to belt the leather of this. He gets a thick outside edge en route to the keeper. The noise was loud, the noise was clear. Taylor reviews it in some faint hope.. Gabriel is miles behind the line, the edge is louder in the replay and Taylor has to go.. What a shot to play after all that hardwork! Eight balls to go for the new ball and Taylor has handed it in a platter to West Indies 153/5

    18.1 124.6 kph, and Holder strikes first ball! And that was a loose shot from Taylor, short of a length outside off, Taylor was pinned to the back foot, poked his bat out but only managed a thick outside edge straight to Bravo at second slip and that was also his first Test wicket 68/3

    A soft dismissal in every single test.

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    Cricketer Of The Year Cabinet96's Avatar
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    Significantly I'd say. Without trying to sound to patronising, he definitely suffers from a lack of test matches and NZ not playing a lot of big marquee test series. Was making a point in the Moeen Ali World XI thread that if you put Amla up to open you could get the likes of Mathews or Rahane in and I thought for a good minute or so of other potential middle order bats to list and completely forgot Taylor. I wouldn't say I personally underrate Taylor anymore (probably did before the WI series last season) but the fact I forgot about him kind of speaks volumes.

    Edit: Could do with a couple more overseas tons though.
    Last edited by Cabinet96; 11-08-2014 at 06:51 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    This English top three are cornflakes. They're not the most exciting thing out but they're pretty effective. Then the middle order are the sugar. Would be too much on their own but added to the cornflakes they add some much needed interest

    When KP returns he will be the banana..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocky View Post
    You'd have something here if we were discussing his merits after his amazing run at home recently, but then in the West Indies - out of 4 dismissals

    110.2 82.4 kph, what a soft dismissal! That's tossed up on the stumps, and Taylor flicks it uppishly and straight to midwicket. The umpires want to check something, though. It's not a no-ball, that's for sure, and it isn't a bump ball either. It's bounced close to the bat, but it's gone straight off it and up in the air. Edwards took it at chest-height, with both his hands 277/4

    78.4 141.7 kph, Gabriel's patience has paid off! Or it it Taylor's impatience? A mix of the two.. Length delivery outside off and Taylor goes for an ill-advised on-the-up drive - he was looking to belt the leather of this. He gets a thick outside edge en route to the keeper. The noise was loud, the noise was clear. Taylor reviews it in some faint hope.. Gabriel is miles behind the line, the edge is louder in the replay and Taylor has to go.. What a shot to play after all that hardwork! Eight balls to go for the new ball and Taylor has handed it in a platter to West Indies 153/5

    18.1 124.6 kph, and Holder strikes first ball! And that was a loose shot from Taylor, short of a length outside off, Taylor was pinned to the back foot, poked his bat out but only managed a thick outside edge straight to Bravo at second slip and that was also his first Test wicket 68/3

    A soft dismissal in every single test.
    Ah yes, one series paints the picture of a seven year career.

    When Sangakkara has a lean four tests I expect you to announce him the second worst after the Phantom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Ah yes, one series paints the picture of a seven year career.

    When Sangakkara has a lean four tests I expect you to announce him the second worst after the Phantom.
    One series really just repeats what has always been his major problem - he gets out softly, either through stupidity (walking across his stumps in test cricket to try and slog sweep), through lack of discipline (trying to belt the cover off the ball on the up) or through brain farts ( batting NZ out of a tough spot, usually with Williamson, only to have a go at something and get himself out)

    He doesn't have a weakness against the short ball, his defense has improved tonnes, especially against spin and he's shown that he can bat patiently and accumulate rather than bash, but all too frequently he gets out with very soft dismissals - probably a high percentage of his dismissals have come from him being stupid, not being out-played.

    Also... Taylor's best ever year was 72 runs... Sangakkara has been averaging 70 for the last ten years. A dip for Sanga is averaging over a year what Taylor's entire career average is.
    Last edited by Blocky; 11-08-2014 at 06:58 PM.

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    State Vice-Captain viriya's Avatar
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    The fan girl is strong in this one.. I like it.

    Taylor will comfortably retire as the best ever NZ batsman imo, but will fall short of ATG status. He will probably end up being top 30-35 all-time.

    He needs at least 2-3 very good years for that to happen though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by viriya View Post
    The fan girl is strong in this one.. I like it.

    Taylor will comfortably retire as the best ever NZ batsman imo, but will fall short of ATG status. He will probably end up being top 30-35 all-time.

    He needs at least 2-3 very good years for that to happen though.
    Taylor would have to be plus 50 in my view for people to put him ahead of Crowe, solely because of the nostalgia around Crowe's career and also unlike Taylor, his horror run when he first got into the side that he had to correct. Crowe also played in an NZ side that was one of the better teams in world cricket and held their own against any other nation of the day, except the rampant Windies.

    I also get the feeling (having previously been a doubter) that Kane Williamson will surpass both of them in the next ten years, he too has an issue with giving away innings (generally when well set) but the level of consistency he's starting to show, once he learns how to transform 50s into 150+ you'll see him trend upwards bigtime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teja. View Post
    He's in the top 7-8 batsmen in the world with the top five a couple of leagues ahead, IMO. He's definitely underrated at times but not massively like say, Boult.
    Yep, that's how I see him. In that second tier with your top five or so in the one above. As it is though you very rarely even see Taylor in that list.

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    State Vice-Captain viriya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blocky View Post
    Crowe also played in an NZ side that was one of the better teams in world cricket and held their own against any other nation of the day, except the rampant Windies.
    That's mainly because of Hadlee though. Can't hold that against Taylor.

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