Toss: New Zealand won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena & Marais Erasmus
What Actually Happened – New Zealand Vs England
Winner:New Zealand won by 5 wickets
Scores: England 166/4New Zealand167/5
Player of the Match:Daryl Mitchell 72* (47)
Tim Southee (4-0-24-1)
Liam Livingstone (4-0-22-2)
Moeen Ali 51* (37)
Daryl Mitchell 72* (47)
Moments of The Day: Neesham Has His Day as England Shocked
Moeen Ali & Dawid Malan, two batters of completely distinct styles of play with #3 as their preferred positions worked together to recover England after a slow start. From 53/2 in 8.1 overs, they took it to a solid 116 in the next 7 overs. Great ball striking from both, especially Moeen at the end to shift the momentum England’s way.
We have talked a lot about Devon Conway on this channel since his NZ debut, but he had not lit the tournament a light. Today was his day. When he came in, Chris Woakes had taken the two stars out—Guptill & Williamson. Although Conway was not the man of the moment, his strikes flipped the narrative on which Neesham and Mitchell could capitalize. Took them from 13/2 in 2.4 overs to 95/3 in 13.4.
Daryl Mitchell was not supposed to be New Zealand’s premier all rounder, but was picked over the dangerous Colin de Grandhomme. Mitchell was not supposed to be NZ’s opener. That should have been a toss up between Munro & Seifert. He was not supposed to be hitting the shot that would help NZ meet Australia in the final. Grant Elliot did that already in 2015. However, he did all three with the presence of his parents in the crowd. Dream moment.
Never lose hope even if you are struggling at the beginning. He struggled to get into the NZ side for years due to their all rounder depth. Today he could not hit anything and was going at a snail’s pace 28* (28). Neesham came, Neesham conquered, Mitchell started, stayed, and finished. 44 runs in the last 19 deliveries including a 6,6,4 to end the game with an over to spare.
Drama of the Day
A New Zealand-England knockout game was bound to have drama. The wounds (or happiness) runs deep from that day in July of 2019.
Bairstow, Livingstone, & The Catch – 2 years ago, Trent Boult, one of modern Cricket’s best boundary riders, stepped onto the boundary while completing a relay catch with Guptill. Stokes 6, Neesham bowling, NZ’s hopes crumble. Today it was Neesham batting. Similar ball, Neesham swings it to a similar part of the ground, and Bairstow-Livingstone complete a relay catch. Except Bairstow had touched the rope. History repeats itself, doesn’t it mate?
Bairstow, Livingstone, & The Non-Catch – The VERY NEXT ball, Neesham hits it again and mistakes it. The catch is their for the taking….and Livingstone freezes. He did not go for the catch, Neesham survived, and eventually New Zealand wins.
Jimmy Neesham did not make the 2015 CWC in NZ because Corey Anderson & Grant Elliot were selected. He contemplated early retirement in the years he was not picked. He came back, almost got NZ across the line with a Super Over Six in 2019, but was heartbroken. I am glad he is finally back – 2 sixes in the 17th over then another one an over later. Needing 57 in 4 overs, Neesham changed it to . The game changer of this semi finals.
He is not done though. He did not celebrate when the team won nor did he leave when the team left. Just reflecting on his mayhem and froze for a while.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Devon Conway’s Broken Hand
Conway was playing so well. However when he got out on 46, stumped to part-timer Liam Livingstone he was disappointed in himself. He reacted by hitting the bat.
Now it is known he broke his hand due to that. Ruled out of the T20 World Cup Final and the India series that follows right after.
Today I want to reflect upon the career of one of my all-time favorite players, Ross Taylor. We will discuss it all—the achievements, the struggles, my favorite memories, and ultimately what we can learn from him.
But you ask, why am I talking about Ross Taylor all of a sudden?
Well for once, he has been in the news recently.
Last month, he suffered from a calf strain, which cast a slight doubt on his place for the Test series against England and the much awaited World Test Championship final.
In the last year, Taylor has already been dropped from the T20I side for the likes of Devon Conway & Glenn Phillips.
New Zealand cricket is now a powerhouse. Across the three formats, their record is spectacular:
Semi-finalists: 2007 & 2011 ODI World Cup; 2007 & 2016 T20 World Cups
Runners-Up:2009 Champions Trophy; 2015 & 2019 ODI World Cup finals
Finalists:Inaugural World Test Championship Final
This is surely New Zealand’s greatest cricketing generation, and great teams are built upon the contributions of exceptional individuals.
Post the Martin Crowe era, New Zealand’s performances were inconsistent until the Stephen Fleming generation. With a side consisting of Fleming, Daniel Vettori, Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, and the feisty Brendon McCullum, the Black Caps began to generate consistent performances.
Fast forward fifteen years, New Zealand have transformed from a team that ‘perennially punches-above-their-weight’ to serious ‘contenders.’
The Brendon McCullum-Kane Williamson generation has unearthed heroes like ODI double centurion Martin Guptill, superman Grant Elliot, American-bound Corey Anderson, steadiness of Tom Latham & Henry Nicholls, the all-round power of Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Kyle Jamieson, & the Mitchells (Daryll and Santner), spin-guile of Ish Sodhi, and the depth with incoming youngsters like Conway-Phillips-Will Young-Tim Seifert-Tom Blundell.
From the land of dibbly-dobblies to the genuine pace regime consisting of Southee-Boult-Henry-Jamieson-Wagner-Ferguson-Milne, the transformation is complete.
One man was a constant that connected the Fleming and Williamson generations. From the promising youngster in 2006 to the calm senior in 2021, across 4 ODI World Cups, he has seen it all. The name is Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor, the second cricketer of Samoan descent to play for New Zealand.
When things are all said and done, Taylor will go down as the best #4 ODI batsman of all time.
Ross Taylor at #4
To put this in perspective, at #4, Taylor has the (1) most runs, (2) most centuries, (3) most 50+ scores, (4) second highest individual score after Vivian Richards’ 189*, and (5) second highest average after AB De Villiers of course (with at least 100 ODIs).
His international career as a whole is not that bad either.
Ross Taylor’s career stats
Taylor’s career can be broken down into three phases—(1) swashbuckling slog-sweeper, (2) responsible middle order batsman, (3) and absolute world dominator.
His averages between 2017-2020: 60.50, 91.28, 55.47, 99.00. 6 hundreds, 19 fifties. Brilliant.
Ross Taylor Records In a Nutshell
1st cricketer to play 100+ matches in each international format.
3rd most catches combined (340) behind only Mahela Jayawardene & Ricky Ponting
Most capped player (440) for New Zealand across formats
Highest run scorer, most hundreds, and most fifties for New Zealand in ODIs
Highest run scorer in Tests, second most hundreds after Kane Williamson
3 double centuries in Tests
3 consecutive ODI centuries – 112* Vs India, 102 Vs India, 105* Vs Pakistan (2014)
6 consecutive ODI fifties – 181*, 80, 86*, 54, 90, 137 (2018-19) Vs England, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
My first memory of Ross Taylor was in that magnificent 2006-07 series vs Australia, one of the best ODI series of that era. The Kiwis whitewashed Australia 3-0 scoring 340 & 350 respectively in successful chases. These were the days where chasing 270 was considered a difficult task.
Next came IPL 2009. I was already a fan of the 2009 RCB team – stalwarts Rahul Dravid & Anil Kumble, Robin Uthappa, and youngsters Manish Pandey & Virat Kohli. Finisher Ross Taylor just took RCB to the next level, one of their key players taking Royal Challengers Bangalore to their first final.
At the halfway stage, the required rate hovered around 11. What came next was pure genius. With 52 needed off 24, Taylor unleashed five slog-sweeping sixes against the likes of fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar. RCB won by 4 balls to spare. He would play a couple of more cameos in 2009, including a player of the match performance in the Champions League.
In the next few seasons, Taylor would play steady knocks for Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils, but his T20 form never reached the heights of that 2009 season again.
One of Taylor’s sweetest moments came on his 27th birthday in the 2011 Cricket World Cup at Pallekele, when Kamran Akmal’s dropped catches and an array of full tosses literally gifted him a memorable birthday present.
He would make the most of this opportunity. After slowly rebuilding to 69* (108), what followed was carnage. He ended up scoring 131* (124) with 7 sixes. Carving away off-side yorkers, slogging leg-sided deliveries into the stand, and thrashing Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, and Shahid Afridi, this was Taylor at his best. In the last six overs, NZ scored 114 and gave Pakistan their only loss of the group stage.
Taylor was going through a lean patch in 2014-2015. Although he had a few 30s and 40s, questions were being asked on his place in the Test squad. On a flat track in Perth (when does that ever happen?), Taylor made the most of his opportunities, scoring a brilliant 290 & 36* with a 265-run partnership with Kane Williamson. That would be the end of Mitchell Johnson’s career.
Ross Taylor saved his best (thus far) against England at Dunedin in 2018. Chasing 336, New Zealand were reduced to 2-2 in 3 overs. Then he mastered a chase….on one leg.
When Taylor was 107, he ran for a two and dove to reach the crease in time. In the process, he injured himself. New Zealand still needed 116 from 13 overs. Since he could not run twos, for the last ten overs it was all stand-and-deliver stuff. The fact that he stayed in and remained unbeaten just blows my mind.
With healthy support from Williamson, de Grandhomme, and Henry Nicholls as well as a 187-run partnership with Tom Latham, NZ’s third highest successful run chase (after that 2006-07 Australia series) was complete. Following tradition, it was a day before his 34th birthday.
Here are some of the commentary clips from Taylor’s innings. Just dominated all across the park.
“Pull over long leg… Swung over long on… Flicked… Slaps it to point boundary…Swats it powerfully…Beats deep square… Carts it over deep mid-wicket… Over backward point… Beats third man… Conventional sweep… Through extra cover! Out of the ground.“
Definitely a candidate for the best ODI innings in a chase of all-time. Epic.
My favorite Taylor innings by far.
India Vs New Zealand 2019
One criticism of this New Zealand generation is not being able to lift the elusive trophy after seven ICC knockouts opportunities in the last 15 years.
Taylor himself had not played a match defining innings in a high-profile game apart from a few steady 40s here and there (I believed in the 2015 World Cup Final when Elliot-Taylor had ‘rescued’ NZ to 150 in 35 overs. In came James Faulkner for the final powerplay, dismissed Taylor off the first ball, and took the game away. Dreams crushed.)
In the 2019 Cricket World Cup semi-final, he finally came to the party. 74 (90) might not seem too much, but in the context of a slow pitch & disciplined bowling attacks, this was a precious little innings, keeping NZ’s middle order together.
Unfortunate that his innings ended with a direct hit from Ravindra Jadeja, but by then, NZ had pushed to a competitive total.
With the exception of McCullum-Guptill, New Zealand have often rotated through their openers resulting in frequent top-order collapses and slow starts. This brings in Taylor and Williamson in the game to do what they do best—read the situation, soak in the pressure, nudge it for singles and doubles, dab down to third man, flick it off the hip.
Next thing you know, the innings is halfway done, wickets are in hand, and the acceleration has begun. Standard Williamson-Taylor template.
The thing is they seem to do it over and over….and over…again. Astonishing consistency.
At the peak of his batting form, Ross Taylor was handed captaincy after an interview process, narrowly edging out Brendon McCullum. His two year tenure ended unceremoniously. Post a disastrous 2012 T20 World Cup and a tour of Sri Lanka, Taylor was sacked unceremoniously as captain from all three formats, without proper communication, especially from coach Mike Hesson. Putting this aside, he fought through and scored 142 & 74 against Sri Lanka.
He took a break from the game and skipped the subsequent tour of South Africa. New Zealand folded for 45 against Steyn-Philander-Morne Morkel and lost the first test by an innings and 27 runs. This match would be the catalyst for McCullum to compete in an ultra aggressive approach that catapulted them to the 2015 World Cup final. Taylor was selected back into the side as the trio put their differences aside.
The 290 at the WACA is special, but you know what is more special? Scoring that many runs against the pace of Josh Hazlewood & the Mitchells—Johnson, Starc, Marsh without a functioning eye.
He had to have a surgery in 2016 to remove the pterygium in his eye. This probably gave him that extra bit of timing that sparked the second wind in his career and elongated his career.
Apart from being a Black Cap legend and a critical thinker of the game, Martin Crowe was a mentor to the current crop of players in the New Zealand side, especially Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor. Crowe lost a tough battle with cancer in 2016, which impacted them both tremendously. After Taylor went past Crowe’s all-time Test record and closed in on his 100th test, Taylor could not hold his tears back in a press conference.
In his own words, Crowe was “New Zealand’s best ever Test batsman, best ever cricketing brain, a genius, and someone that inspired thousands of Kiwis and thousands of people overseas as well.”
End of his T20 career?
Ross Taylor was dropped from the T20I squad last year due to scintillating performances from Devon Conway and Glenn Phillips. He needs to re-invent his T20 game if he has any chance of resurrecting his T20I career. Since the upcoming T20 World Cup allows a squad of 23, I think he might just find a place.
What We Can Learn From Ross Taylor & the New Zealand team?
New Zealand Cricket Team: Camaraderie & Team Spirit Galore
Why are the Kiwis everybody’s second favorite team? Is it just because of the 2019 World Cup Final and the obsession with captain Kane Williamson’s smile? Umm…maybe.
Or is it because of the talent among the group? Possibly. Maybe it is due to the aggressive approach installed by McCullum’s captaincy? Maybe, maybe not.
Above all, I believe it is the due to the camaraderie between the players in the New Zealand team. Although Kane Williamson is the star of the team, he acts just like a core member and nothing more. Tim Southee is happy to relinquish his place for in-form Matt Henry and instead take diving catches as a substitute fielder. BJ Watling is going out but has given his complete support to Tom Blundell, the next in line.
This is exactly what this New Zealand team is all about. Actually, this is what sport is about. Give it your all, play aggressively on the field, respect the opposition, live & die for each member of your team.
This quote below encapsulates the dynamic within the Black Caps unit.
Ross Taylor’s Legacy: Stable, Steady, Responsible
One of the most popular cricketing social media question is, “Is Ross Taylor the most underrated batsman of our era?” First of all, I am not a huge fan of these pointless clichés like ‘underrated,’ overrated,’ ‘unluckiest,’ etc., etc.
Anyway, in my books, Taylor will go down as one of the all-time greats of our game. To do what Taylor has done for how long he has done it is truly remarkable. It turns out that slow and steady actually does win you the race.
Will Ross Taylor be remembered as talented as Sir Vivian Richards or the recently retired with confirmation, AB De Villiers? Was he as technically adept as Williamson and the Fab 5? Did he have the exquisite timing of Hashim Amla or the free-flowing nature of Mohammad Yousuf?
It all depends on your point of view, but one thing is for certain—Taylor is the glue that kept New Zealand together for so many years.
What can you learn from his life and apply to yours?
Dependability – In case of a crisis, you could always depend on Ross Taylor. It might not pay off every time, but he had the uncanny ability of turning gloomy situations into positive ones. Not only as a batsman, his role as a trusted slip fielder as well.
Be dependable. Regardless of what is going around on you, internally or externally, try to weather the storm. Once you overcome the obstacle, lend out a hand and help someone else out in need.
Balance – Once Taylor rescued NZ from precarious situation, he knew when to accelerate and who to turn the strike to.
Be self-aware. Known your limitations and balance your life accordingly. Too much of anything is harmful. Learn how to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Responsibility – Taylor curbed his natural gameplay and transformed from a slogger to an accumulator to suit his side’s needs. In order to accommodate the firepower at the top & the lower order, somebody needed to take the responsibility and be that insurance policy.
Be responsible. Sometimes giving up your own personal comfort for others around you is the way to go. Follow your dreams, but also combine it with a slight dose of practicality.
There is probably no better match than Ross Taylor & the New Zealand cricket team, or shall I say they are tailor-made for each other (bad joke, sorry 😅). His responsible character gelled perfectly into the team spirit.
What will I remember the most? The tongue celebration, his bent stance, hard bottom-hand grip, the slog sweeps, and the numerous partnerships, and the calm demeanor.
I will leave you with a smiling picture of Ross Taylor. Because why not.
When things are all said and done, Kane Williamson will probably be regarded as the greatest New Zealand batsman of all time. Yet, for New Zealand cricket to get to this point, players like Martin Crowe, Ross Taylor, Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori, and Brendon McCullum, have played their parts.
How Good is the New Zealand Cricket Team?
Ranked #1 in ODIs, #2 in Tests, and #3 in T20Is according to the latest ICC rankings (2021), the New Zealand cricket team is definitely one of the best going around. The fact that they have qualified for 8 different semi-finals or finals in the last 15 years across the formats makes this generation of New Zealand team one of their bests ever.
Is Ross Taylor an Underrated Cricketer?
Ross Taylor is one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand cricket, but he will go down as one of the all-time greats of our game. To do what Taylor has done for how long he has done it is truly remarkable. It turns out that slow and steady does actually win you the race.
What makes Ross Taylor such a special cricketer?
Taylor’s ability to read the situation makes him such a special cricketer. Knows exactly when to attack and when to soak in the pressure.
What was Taylor’s highest score in one day cricket?
Taylor’s highest score is 181* in a run-chase in Dunedin (2018) against England. Second highest score in a successful run chase.
What is Ross Taylor’s Birthday?
Ross Taylor was born on March 8th, 1984 (8/27/1984).
Why does Ross Taylor stick his tongue out when he scores a century?
Taylor’s unique celebration can be credited to his daughter, Mackenzie. It is a tradition that started during his ODI hundred against Australia in 2007 and “made her happy.” He continues his famous tongue-poking celebration to this day and even passed on the tradition to his son, Jonty.
Tribute to Other Cricket Legends
Thank you all for reading! Really appreciate it.
If you like these stories about cricket legends, check these some of my earlier featured articles below:
Rahul Dravid: What Rahul Dravid Taught Me?
MS Dhoni & SK Raina: Retirement: An End of an Era
Shakib-Rahim-Iqbal-Mortaza-Mahmudullah:Why Shakib And Co Are the True Fab 5 of this Era?
Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, and Superstar
Ellyse Perry: What Can Ellyse Perry Not do?
Dean Jones: A Celebration of Life
AB De Villiers & Faf Du Plessis: Can Faf Fulfill the Broken Dream of ABD?
Umar Gul: The Magician With the Yorker
Sam Curran: Why the World Needs Same Curran: Calm, Charismatic, Courageous
Joe Denly & Joe Biden: The Importance of Being Joe
Nicholas Pooran: A Story of Pain, Hope, & Inspiration: The Next Big Thing of West Indies & World Cricket
Today we discuss Top 50 England Cricket Team players.
England’s rotation policy is well documented. Anderson and Broad have been preserved for more than a decade, while the Woods, Stones, Archers, and Currans rotate. Their bowling depth is quite vast.
After years of mediocre cricket, England’s rise post 2015 has been nothing short of marvelous. 2016 WT20 final, 2017 Champions Trophy semi-finals, winning it all in the 2019 World Cup, and the team to beat at the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup. Their limited overs bench strength is quite something. In Tests, they have now won a record 6 in a row overseas.
Build FOUR England National Cricket Teams: 2 Test teams, an ODI, and a T20I XI so that (1) each team can field a team (wicketkeeper & 5 bowling options), and (2) a player is not repeated in any of the lists.
Would you pick Ben Stokes for the Test team, ODI, or the T20I? How about Jofra Archer? Is Buttler more dangerous ODI middle-order batsman or a T20I opener?
Can you make all 4 teams balanced? The goal is that each team is just as good and competitive on the international stage. The ODI & T20I teams should be good enough for the World Cups and the Test teams for the World Test Championship.
England Cricket Team Players
Test Team 1
1. Rory Burns
2. Dom Sibley
3. Zak Crawley
4. Joe Root (C)
5. Ollie Pope
6. Ben Foakes (WK)
7. Jofra Archer
8. Stuart Broad
9. Dom Bess
10. Jack Leach
11. James Anderson
Test Team 2
1. Haseeb Hameed
2. Keaton Jennings
3. Joe Denly
4. Dan Lawrence
5. Moeen Ali (C)
6. James Bracey* (WK)
7. Sam Curran
8. Craig Overton
9. Jake Ball
10. Mason Crane
11. Olly Stone
England Cricket Limited Overs Teams
1. Jason Roy
2. Jonny Bairstow (WK)
3. Eoin Morgan (C)
4. Ben Stokes
5. Jos Buttler (WK)
6. Sam Billings
7. Chris Woakes
8. David Willey
9. Adil Rashid
10. Mark Wood
11. Saqib Mahmood
1. Alex Hales
2. James Vince
3. Dawid Malan (C)
4. Tom Banton
5. Liam Livingstone
6. Ben Duckett (WK)
7. Lewis Gregory
8. Liam Dawson
9. Chris Jordan
10. Tom Curran
11. Reece Topley
I made sure Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales were in different teams (ouch).
David Willey narrowly missed out on that World Cup squad, but here, Archer plays for the Test team, while Willey makes the ODI XI. Best of both worlds.
Initially I had Sam Billings as a T20I finisher/captain, but had to fill a space in the ODIs (given Root was picked for the Test squad). Hence, Ben Duckett was added to the T20I XI.
Extended List of Prospects
These are just the 44 that are ready for the international level. Here is an extended list of players for the next decade. These players were either (1) selected for the 55-men ECB training squad when cricket returned from COVID, (2) have recently represented England Lions, or (3) were picked from the recent T10 League.
Youngsters to Watch Out (26 or Below): 48. Jamie Overton, 49. Tom Helm, 50. Tom Moores (WK), 51. George Garton, 52. Tom Abell, 53. Alex Davies (WK), 54. Phil Salt, 55. Pat Brown, 56. Henry Brookes, 57. Tom Kohler-Cardmore, 58. Will Jacks, 59. Sam Hain, 60. Brydon Carse
Ex-International Players Out of Favor(but still dominating T20 or County Circuits): 61. Luke Wright, 62. Liam Plunkett, 63. Samit Patel, 64. Adam Lyth, 65. Ravi Bopara, 66. Gary Ballance, 67. Steven Finn
Others:68. Ben Cox (WK), 69. Laurie Evans, 70. Richard Gleeson, 71. Sam Northeast, 72. Adam Hose, 73. Sam Wisniewski, 74. Daniel Bell-Drummond, 75. Joe Clarke*
*was named in Alex Hepburn rape trial and since been reprimanded. Doubt he will ever be selected for England
England’s ODI, T20I, and first string Test squad are stronger than India’s, but India’s second string Test squad AND depth of reserves is probably higher quality. I even had to pick Haseeb Hameed and Keaton Jennings for the second string Test opening (given that it has taken a decade for England to replace Strauss-Cook in their first string squad, it is no surprise I had trouble in this regard).
England has an abundance of pace bowlers, but the next generation of batsmen have not yet been groomed.
Now, a lot of India’s players (50-75) were the youngsters emerging from the recent U-19 World Cups and IPL 2020 (post-COVID). Since The Hundred was cancelled last year, the English public were robbed of watching exciting young talent. Who knows, after the 2021 edition of The Hundred, maybe England’s depth can overpower India.
What do you think of England cricket team players right now? What will your England XIs be?COMMENT BELOW!
If you like this, check out the rest of our World XIs with TwistsHere – Best Fielding XI, Best Commentators XI, and much more!