x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

New Zealand playing dangerous game with Ross Taylor

The administrative team has already allowed a great coach like John Wright slip away. Maybe it was just a matter of time before the same happened with the players.

The axing of Ross Taylor as captain will not do his confidence any good.
The axing of Ross Taylor as captain will not do his confidence any good.

Perhaps the powers that be in New Zealand cricket have been watching what England have done and thought: that seems like a good idea. Let's do it.

As master plans for global domination go, however, it is hardly fail-safe. First, take your one world-class batsman-come-IPL cash cow and give him the captaincy, no matter his leadership credentials.

Then take it away from him because he does not see eye to eye with the coach. The ensuing dressing-room unrest will make said star batsman decide he is no longer welcome. Thus, he will be absented from duty for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand have got all that right so far. Now all they have to do is wait and hope Ross Taylor forgets all; persuade him he has not been sinned against; then wait for him to produce the Kevin Pietersen-esque batting masterpieces of which he is more than capable.

They are playing a dangerous game. New Zealand's administrative team has already allowed a good man and great coach like John Wright slip away. Maybe it was just a matter of time before the same happened with the players.

Martin Crowe, the New Zealand batting great, reckons the damage could be irreparable. "They continue to strip the worth from players and, therefore, [New Zealand Cricket] have definitely become worthless," Crowe wrote this week.

To say New Zealand has a small pool of talent to pick from may seem a cliche, but it is the truth. If they think they can succeed without Taylor they are conning themselves.

pradley@thenational.ae

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