New Zealand veteran batsman Ross Taylor stands on the cusp of a major cricketing milestone ahead of the first Test against India, starting February 21 in Wellington. Taylor is set to become the first-ever cricketer to play 100 international matches in all three formats – Tests, ODIs and T20Is. Earlier this month, he achieved the feat of becoming first male Black Caps cricketer to play 100 T20 internationals during the fifth match vs India in Mount Maunganui.
After making an unforgettable Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg (2007), the 35-year-old went on to establish himself as one of the vital cogs in New Zealand’s batting unit. Only Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori have played more Tests than Taylor who will only enter an elite club by playing his 100th Test in the series opener at Basin Reserve.
With 231 ODIs, 100 T20Is and 99 Tests against his name – Taylor has learnt the art to live with his imperfections and focus on the process. “No one has a perfect career and you fail at some stage especially as a batter. Mistakes and scenarios make you grow as a person,” Taylor told reporters on Friday.
Asked what does 100 Tests mean to him, he cheekily replied: “Probably getting older! But no, I think I have been happy with what I have achieved to date.
“Test cricket and cricket in general as a batter, you go through a lot of ups and downs and that’s definitely what I have been through, and as a team as well.
“But Wellington holds a special place in my heart and I am sure having a lot of family and friends there will be something that I will be proud of and look back on at the end of my career with fond memories,” said the 35-year-old Taylor.
On emotions playing a distracting role in the first Test, Taylor downplayed that factor. “I guess at the end of the day, it is another game of cricket and you try and contribute in any way that’s possible. But at the same time, you got to enjoy it for what it is.
“But I am sure once you get into the game, you can enjoy it and just play cricket like you want to. Wellington can do a little bit early on, so I am sure batting or bowling, it is going to be an interesting contest.”
For a journeyman cricketer, a family ready to make sacrifices is very important which is where wife Victoria’s role has been pivotal in Taylor’s successful journey.
“It is not easy on my wife Victoria to raise three kids for as long as she has. We play a lot but that’s probably why when you do play at home, it’s nice to be a dad and it’s nice for them, Jonty and Mackenzie to be old enough to sort of understand what dad does,” Taylor signed off.