Ross Taylor getting better for Black Caps in ODIs as he grows up

Ross Taylor

It’s rare for a New Zealand cricketer to get better in their mid-30s, but Ross Taylor proved long ago that he’s not your usual cricketer.

Taylor turns 35 in March, yet his last two years of ODI cricket have been the best of his career, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Since the start of 2017, Taylor is averaging 70.04 in the 50-over format — an absurd record which has only increased of late.

In 2018, Taylor averaged 91.28 in ODIs, and New Zealand’s second highest one-day runs scorer has started the new year in similarly superb fashion.

After grafting 80 and 86 against Pakistan on low and slow tracks in the United Arab Emirates, he’s proven just as potent on the batsman-friendly conditions, carving innings of 54 and 90 against Sri Lanka to begin 2019.

It’s the continuation of a stellar run which has seen him smack fifties in five consecutive innings — one short of the New Zealand ODI record — and in seven of the last eight.

That run has seen Taylor move to the top of New Zealand’s all-time ODI averages list, with a stellar average of 47.35 — one of just four New Zealanders to hold an average over 40, and the ninth best all-time of batsmen to have played at least 100 ODIs.

His innings today was an important one, having come in with the Black Caps in a spot of bother at 39-2 after Taylor’s two current compatriots in the 40-plus club failed to make their usual impact.

After combining for 214 runs in the opening ODI, Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson could only muster 14 together today, leaving Taylor and Colin Munro with plenty of work to do to.

As he has done so many times in the past, Taylor played the anchoring role, with his 90 off 105 balls consisting of just five boundaries, but rarely playing a loose stroke.

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