Teams Played For
New Zealand, New Zealand U19, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Durham, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Pune Warriors, Trinidad and Tobago, Trinbago Knight Riders, St Lucia Zouks, Central Districts, Sussex, New Zealand A, New Zealand XI, Nottinghamshire, Jamaica Tallawahs, Middlesex
Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor, a.k.a Ross Taylor is one of the most prolific cricketers and also the most improved batsman for New Zealand over the last couple of decades. At a very early age, Taylor was fast-tracked and labelled as the brightest Kiwi find since Daniel Vettori. Taylor made his debut when New Zealand were in the going through a transition state and stood up to his potential.
As a kid, Taylor was a hockey player before shifting his focus to cricket. He came into the Kiwi setup after some prodigious performances at the U-19 stage and then impressed at the domestic level as well. Taylor made his debut for Central Districts in the 2003-04 season and soon got his maiden national call-up in 2006.
Taylor made his first international appearance in an ODI against West Indies in March 2006. He didn’t take too long to find his feet at the highest level and scored a maiden ton against the Lankans, in his third ODI. He then followed it up with an 84 against Australia at Hobart in January 2007. Watching his progression, the selectors could not hold Taylor from making his Test debut.
He was awarded his first Test cap in Johannesburg in September 2007 but could not make a mark during his first tour and got dropped in New Zealand’s next Test assignment against visiting Bangladesh. However, he proved himself in England by churning out his maiden Test ton and three additional fifties against England.
In 2010, he got the honour of leading his national side across formats till 2012 as Taylor's two-year stint ended with a controversy emerging that he had some rift going with the head coach, Mike Hesson. Taylor also had a minor tussle with Brendon McCullum but the duo worked it out.
Over the years, Taylor has represented a number of franchises in different countries throughout his career. He has represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors India, Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. Apart from IPL, he also appeared in BBL, CPL, as well as in the English county.
The Kiwi also featured in ODI World Cups of 2007, 2011 and 2015, alongside every World T20 from 2007 to 2016. His first ODI World Cup was an ordinary one. However, the 2011 ICC event was an impressive World Cup for the Kiwi where he scored 324 runs in the tournament. In the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, he was New Zealand’s mainstay, taking the Black Caps to two consecutive World Cup finals.
On 5 June 2019, Taylor became the first New Zealander to play 400 international matches. In January 2020, he added another gem to his buckle when he surpassed Stephen Fleming to become the highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs for a New Zealander. Two months later, the Kiwi giant got to an unparalleled milestone by becoming the first cricketer to play over 100 games in each format.
Taylor might be in the twilight of his career and his days in international cricket are only numbered. However, he will surely go down as one of the best number four produced in world cricket, not because of his runs or statics but because of his contribution to the game.
(As of March 2021)