Since his inception in cricket at a very young age, Brendan Taylor over the years has grown leaps and bounds to become one of Zimbabwe's premier batsmen and has also made a name for himself as his team's crisis man, having pulled off several games single-handedly.
Taylor, who made his domestic debut for Mashonaland A when he was just 15, showed early glimpses of his talent when he scored 200 not out in the B division of a Logan Cup game and also went on to play in two Under-19 World Cups. However, in 2004, with a mass exodus of Zimbabwe's leading players, in a desperate move, the selectors gave Taylor the go ahead despite his inability to come up with consistent performances in domestic cricket. A string of low scores followed but the right-hander finally came good in the final game of his debut ODI series against Sri Lanka with a top score of 74. He retained his place in the subsequent Test series and went on to score a half century in his second Test. 2004-05 proved to be the turning point in his career as he scored a first class century on the tour to Pakistan and also enjoyed a fine run in the domestic circuit. Few off-field discretions saw him dropped from the team mid-2005, but selectors couldn't ignore his batting talents for long and just months later, he was back in the Test side.
Following the temporary departure of the then captain Taibu, Taylor donned the wicket keeping gloves and with the pressure of being a specialist batsman no longer present, began to go from strength to strength. In an ODI against Bangladesh in August 2006, with 5 needed off the last ball, Taylor managed to pull off a humungous six, guiding Zimbabwe to a miraculous win. But it wasn't to be the last gem he played, as his unbeaten 60 in the 2007 T20 World Cup also earned Zimbabwe a famous win over Australia. He hit his first international century against Bangladesh in ODIs in 2009. Often criticized for not converting starts, unbeaten centuries against South Africa and Sri Lanka in 2010 gave clear indications that the right-hander had turned the tables. Brendan Taylor was the lone shining star of Zimbabwe's dismal campaign in the 2011 World Cup and he was rewarded with captaincy in June 2011 ahead of the team's return to Test cricket. He started off with a bang as a skipper as he scored his first Test century against Bangladesh in Harare.
The juggernaut continued as he ended the home ODI series against New Zealand as the highest run-getter which included back to back centuries in Harare. He became the first Zimbabwean to hit back-to-back ODI centuries. Though the hosts lost both the matches, Taylor played a gem of 75 off 65 balls in the third to set the platform and help Zimbabwe pull one back in the three-match series. Taylor was named the Man of the Series. He topped the batting charts in his next home series against Bangladesh, including two centuries. The tall right-hander has been the lynchpin of this Zimbabwean batting line-up, with his front foot cover drives and his astute uppercuts a sight to behold. Taylor has been performing very well in the T20 format as well especially in the Bangladesh T20 league, where he was the 3rd highest run getter. Due to this performance, Hyderabad franchise picked him up for the 2014 edition of the Indian T20 League.
The 2015 ICC World Cup was Taylor's swansong and he certainly ended on a high, finishing fourth in the list of leading run-getters of the tournament, at an impressive average of 72.16. Taylor called it quits from international cricket post the mega event.
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