Ross Taylor, the innings builder for the Kiwis, is riding high after his team’s unassailable lead of 3-0 in the 5-match ODI series against India.
Taylor has revealed that New Zealand batsmen are aiming to deny wickets to the visiting Indian side’s spinners, in order to wear out the rest of their bowling attack. Primarily, the vital contribution by Taylor and Williamson through their excellent scoring in the middle overs has paved the way for the victory of New Zealand.
Taylor said, “Yesterday was pretty tough against the spinners. Against (Ravindra) Jadeja, I don’t think we laid a bat on ball in those first couple of overs. He bowled very well, on another day, he could have got a couple of wickets and stifled our momentum. In the past, I have played a few years in India and in New Zealand, it doesn’t really turn as much and you just lunge on the front foot. But now our strategy has been to play off the back foot as much as possible and play into the gaps.”
He also praised team-mate Kane Williamson, adding, “Kane is a very good player of spin and we knew that if we could negate them, we gave ourselves the chance to put pressure on their fifth and sixth bowler and that’s what we did. I have been trying to get into a mindset and a routine, and just play ball by ball.”
His role in the team seems well defined. He added, “The captain has said that my job is to try and bat through the middle overs, and give our power-hitters as much chance to try and express themselves in the last 15 overs. The way Kane (Williamson) has been batting has helped me along the way as well.”
His partnership with Williamson has ensured rich returns for New Zealand, with the duo putting on 121 and 130 runs in the first and fourth ODIs respectively, as well as a half-century partnership in the second ODI.
Given his recent performances, Taylor will look to play an important role in the longer format as well. Even so, there is a chance that he might miss either of the two Tests since his second child is due to be born at the same time.
It is a very common phenomenon that a team in form tries to encash every opportunity to build their lead. But, given the past track record of team India, we expect that they will come out fighting like warriors.
Even if the ODI series is lost, India will definitely prove their mettle in the tests. We wish that India will bounce back soon – they have lost a battle, not the war!