Ross Taylor reaches new milestones to surpass Stephen Fleming

Ross Taylor reaches new milestones to surpass Stephen Fleming


Ross Taylor is now the highest run-getter amongst the Kiwis in the 50-over format.

He surpassed former captain Stephen Fleming’s record to do so.

Taylor is also the fourth fastest to the 8000 runs mark. 

Today as New Zealand pulled off another comfortable win against Bangladesh, Ross Taylor reached new career milestones. The hosts have secured a smooth 3-0 whitewash over the Bangla Tigers despite Sabbir Rahman’s hundred scored under pressure. Tim Southee’s six-wicket haul today, at Dunedin, has made a refreshing effect on his career that was starting to wither away. New Zealand’s leading limited-overs batsman, Ross Taylor now tops the list of most career runs scored by a Kiwi in the ODI format. With 8026 runs to his name, he went past former captain Stephen Fleming’s previous New Zealand record of 8007 runs.

In the process, Taylor also reached his 47th ODI fifty before eventually getting dismissed for 69, pacing his team to a final score of 330/6. In response to the hosts, Bangladesh could only post a total of 242, with Tim Southee taking 6/65 with the ball in a man-of-the-match performance. Despite Sabbir Rahman heroics, Bangladesh faced another heavy defeat leading to a whitewash in the ODI series. Rahman scored 102 off 110 before falling to Tim Southee in the 48th over. Southee won the Man of the match award for his 6 for 65.

Speaking of records, Taylor not only surpassed fleming’s record but also became the fourth fastest to reach the 8000-run-mark after Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Sourav Ganguly. The 34-year-old veteran batsman, who made his ODI debut in 2006 reached this new milestone in 203 innings with an excellent average of 48.34.

“I definitely would have taken that when I played my first match donkey’s years ago,” he said. “If you play long enough I guess these records come along but it’s nice to set the bar for the next guy. I’m still enjoying myself and hopefully, I’ve still got a few years in me.”

Taylor said that he knew he was close to the milestone at the start of the day. He further said it was nice to get to 8000 runs and that he received a lovely reception that very humbling from the Dunedin crowd. Taylor brought up the milestone with a single to fine leg off off-spinner Mehidy Hasan’s over, having reached his 47th half-century three balls earlier. Stephen Fleming congratulated him on Twitter. 

Ross Taylor has been a force since the last part of 2016. To be more precise, since Taylor got his eye surgery done, he has become unstoppable. He’s only second to Virat Kohli since the conclusion of the World Cup 2015. Since the Champions Trophy 2017, he has the second-best batting average, a gigantic 81.05, in ODIs. Taylor already holds the record for the most ODI hundreds by a New Zealand batsman (20) – four more than team-mate and close friend Martin Guptill and the retired Nathan Astle. 

With the main event, the World Cup 2019, closing in Taylor would want to pump up his game. The challenges would be bigger in England and this time New Zealand would be relying more on Rosco than Martin Guptill, who was the overall highest run-scorer in World Cup 2015. New Zealand will face Sri Lanka in their first World Cup game, on June 1. Taylor would be able to polish his batting with the aid of Plunkett Shield by then. Like the Blackcaps rely on Kane Williamson in the longest format, Ross Taylor is the prime batsman in ODIs.

Also Raed: 3 Areas of concern for India 

India equals the series with a thumping win over New Zealand

India equals the series with a thumping win over New Zealand

India kept the hope alive of T20I series win by registering a comfortable 7-wicket win in the second T20 International match against New Zealand at Auckland on Friday. 

New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Seifert and Munro started the innings. New Zealand were looking for a flying start but they didn’t get the start. Only when Seifert started hitting big, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and India quickly got rid of him. Tim Seifert, who scored 84 in the first game, scored a boundary and an over-boundary before getting dismissed.

Then it was Krunal Pandya, who struck twice in his first over. He first took Colin Munro, who tried to cover the in-field but failed to do so. The catch came at a great pace towards Rohit Sharma at the cover, who took that easily. On the last ball of the over, he trapped Daryl Mitchell before the stumps.

New Zealand captain Williamson became the third victim of Krunal Pandya in the eighth over. Williamson got dismissed after scoring 20 off 17 and New Zealand were reduced to 60/4 after 10 overs.

Then, all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme came to his side’s rescue, smashed his maiden T20I half-century off 27 balls which included four sixes and one boundary. He, along with Ross Taylor anchored the innings till 15.4 overs. Both of them added 77-run before de Grandhomme misjudged the delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to Rohit Sharma at extra cover.

Krunal Pandya was the pick of bowlers, ending the innings with 3/28. Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed finished with figures of 2/27 as the tourists were successful in stopping the hosts from exploiting Eden Park’s short boundaries.

Then Taylor and Mitchell Santner tried to steady the ship and both added 26 runs. Before they could move further, Vijay Shankar’s direct throw from the deep sent Taylor back in the pavilion. Later Khaleel Ahmed picked two more wickets in the last over and New Zealand ended up scoring 158 after 20 overs.

Krunal Pandya bagged 3 wickets while Khaleel Ahmed took two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya scalped one each for India.

Chasing 159, India got off to a flying start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan stated the innings at full pace and started dealing with boundaries and over-boundaries. In the 4th over when Rohit hit Kuggeleijn for a six at fine-leg, he completed his 100th six in T20Is.

Currently, he is placed second of hitting sixes (102). Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle are ahead of him with 103 sixes. He reached his 16th T20 half-century in the 9th over. With this, he became the highest run-scorer in T20I as well as the most 50+ scorer in the shortest format of the game.

But his stormy 50 off 29 came to an end when he got dismissed off Ish Sodhi. Dhawan, at the other end, was looking not much comfortable and scored only 30 off 31 with two boundaries before getting out. Earlier, both the openers added 79-run partnership, which became the Most partnership runs (1480).

Rishabh Pant came to bat at No. 3 today and tried to build a partnership with Vijay Shankar; who scored one boundary and a six in his 8-ball 14. Vijay Shankar’s dismissal brought MS Dhoni on the field. Both played with caution where Dhoni was rotating the strike and Pant was dealing with big shots. They both added 44-run through a steady association and ensured India’s win with 7 balls to spare.

Neesham, Astle recalled for the last two ODIs against India

Neesham, Astle recalled for the last two ODIs against India

New Zealand has recalled all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and leg-spinner Todd Astle for the last two One Day Internationals against India. 

Both the teams had played three matches so far where India have already won the five-match series by 3-0. Having lost the series, New Zealand decided to recall two players to get back in the winning zone. All-rounder James Neesham replaced Doug Bracewell in the squad while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi lost his place to Todd Astle.

Also Read: Dominant India clinch the series 3-0 against New Zealand

Astle has played only 11 international matches so far. He was ruled out from the team for a long time because of a knee injury. Though he didn’t play for the country since November, he has played for Canterbury in the Super Smash this month. The upcoming two matches will play a crucial role for him to prepare better for the upcoming ICC World Cup.

While Astle was not a part of the national side due to his knee-injury, Neesham had made his comeback to the limited-over matches after nearly two years during the Sri Lanka series in their backyard where he played a key role for the country. Before getting injured in the hamstring, he smashed ten sixes in the three matches. Later he played for Wellington in the Super Smash for Wellington.

New Zealand’s batting has failed miserably in the series in the three matches. Apart from few players, most of them failed to perform along with the openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. But the team decided to retain them. Bracewell couldn’t do well with the ball and only took one wicket from the three matches which he had played. Though he failed to impress with the ball, He smashed a half-century in the second game for a losing cause. Along with him, Ish Sodhi too has failed to perform with the ball and went wicketless.

“Doug and Ish have been two of the brighter spots of the ODI series so far and we’ve been encouraged by their performances against a quality Indian side,” Gavin Larsen, the selector of New Zealand said.

“It’s great to welcome back the all-round skills of Jimmy and Todd and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the series. We’re still looking to keep our options open with selections at this stage and ensure we continue to learn as much as we can about our players,” Larsen further added.

Remaining two matches between India and New Zealand is scheduled to play on Hamilton and Wellington on January 31 and February 3 respectively.

New Zealand squad:

Kane Williamson (C), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin De Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

India vs New Zealand: Five players to watch out for

India vs New Zealand: Five players to watch out for

After having a tie in the three-match T20I series followed by a historic Test series win by 2-1 and the first bilateral ODI series win by 2-1 against Australia in Australia, India is all set to face New Zealand at New Zealand from January 23. 

With the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner in the national team, Australia were much weaker side than India in the recently concluded series. Though India have been performing consistently, New Zealand will surely give them a tough fight in the five-match ODI and three-match T20I series. New Zealand team looks a much better side with a mixture of experience and youth players in their team; while India too will try to keep their winning momentum on.

The series will help both the teams to prepare themselves for the upcoming World Cup in May. Here are the five players to watch out for the series:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Image Source – India Today

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shut all the critics with his stellar performance in the recently concluded three-match ODI series against Australia. Dhoni, who didn’t have a great 2018 with the bat, started this year with a superb tournament.

In the first ODI in Sydney, he came to bat at No. 5 after India were struggling at 4 for 3 within four overs. He scored a 96-ball 51 but India failed to win the match in a chase of 289. He walked into bat at No. 5 in the must-win second ODI and smashed an unbeaten 54-ball 55 to guide his side to a victory. He was promoted to No. 4 in the batting order in the third ODI which was the series decider as well. He anchored the innings till the end to power India to a comfortable win by 2-1; which was India’s first bilateral series win. He was named the ‘Man of The Series’ after having scored three consecutive half-centuries.

Prior to the series, many doubted Dhoni’s capabilities and his ability to finish the match. Some of them asked for his replacement as well. Many favoured Rishabh Pant as India’s wicket-keeper batsman for the upcoming World Cup who can give stability to the lower batting order. But Dhoni showed his class once again. Though India is trying to sort out their middle order prior to the World Cup, if Dhoni can keep performing like the recently concluded series, he would perfectly fit for the place; who could anchor the innings till the end.

Also Read: 6 Records that might break in the series

Kane Williamson

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is one of the best players right now in the world cricket. He has been going through a good patch throughout last year. He scored 468 runs in 11 matches, including two centuries against Pakistan and England with the strike rate of 75.97. This year too has started well for him. The 28-year old already scored two half-centuries against Sri Lanka and managed to score 132 runs in three matches.

Last year, in T20Is, he achieved 251 runs in 12 matches which came at an average of 115.66. He has the ability to anchor the innings till the end. His average is over 70 against India and he can pose a great threat to India.

Ross Taylor

Image Source – NDTV Sports

One of the most dangerous players in the recent time, Ross Taylor amassed 639 runs in 11 matches at an astonishing average of 91.28. He has the second-best ODI batting average after India captain Virat Kohli since the last World Cup. This year too has started in a grand way for him.

The 34-year-old scored 281 runs in the three games against Sri Lanka which included his 20th century. He has already managed to score 50-plus in his last six ODIs and on the verge of equaling the record of former Pakistan player Javed Miandad’s world record of nine successive ODI half-centuries. Just like his captain Willamson, Taylor has the ability to damage India’s bowling line-up with ease.

Shubman Gill

Image Source – Times Now

The star in making and definitely the next batting sensation of India, Shubman Gill got his maiden call up in the national team for the New Zealand series. After having a successful ICC U-19 World Cup last year and scoring his maiden first-class double-century for Punjab in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season, he has been doing wonders.

He had played in New Zealand before during the ICC U-19 World Cup; where he was awarded the ‘Man of the series’ for his scintillating 372 runs in 5 innings. He was the highest run-getter for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season. Though it would be difficult for him to find a place in the playing XI, he will surely try to utilise the chance if he gets one.

Lockie Ferguson

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The speedster of New Zealand, Lockie Ferguson will play the crucial role for his team’s victory. The right-arm fast bowler can bowl at 150 kmph and has the tendency to pick up wickets whenever needed. He has been in a great form last year; where he picked up 19 wickets in 9 ODIs at an economy rate of 5.13. Only pace spearhead Trent Boult had more wickets than him (22).

This year started in a great note for him as he scalped 6 wickets in 2 matches against Sri Lanka. He has 38 ODI wickets in his name in 21 matches, including the career-best 5 for 45 against Pakistan. His attacking pace can trouble India a lot.