Ross Taylor: A fourth World Cup, and eyeing a fifth

Chris Gayle is 39 and I will be turning 39 by the time the next World Cup comes. So never say never, says the New Zealand batsman.

Ross Taylor says he thinks the IPL has been great for New Zealand cricket with the way it has bridged the gap.   -  AP

This is Ross Taylor’s fourth World Cup outing and he is enjoying every bit of it. “I would love to score a few more runs though,” he said.

In 13 long years in the national team, Taylor has seen the Black Caps evolve and he even credits the Indian Premier League with helping the New Zealand cricketers.

“The pressure situations in the IPL have definitely helped us out as a nation,” the 35-year-old said in a conversation with Sportstar at the Riverside Ground at Chester-le-Street.

How has the World Cup been for you so far?

Anytime you are representing your country in a World Cup, it’s a pinnacle achievement. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I would’ve loved to score a few more runs.

There are still a few opportunities. Hopefully, they will come (my way) and I can contribute to more wins.

You have played under quite a few captains — Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and now Kane Williamson. Do you think this particular side is the most balanced New Zealand team ever?

We have got a good balance to our side and have got some good experience waiting in the wings. Sometimes it’s just about winning games in cricket and finding a way to do that. We just (do that).

You have played in the Indian Premier League. Do you feel that the IPL has helped the game evolve?

The T20 (Twenty20) leagues have been great for New Zealand cricket. I think there is bit of an aura around. When you play with the likes of (Jacques) Kallis, (Rahul) Dravid, (Virat) Kohli, it’s good to see how they perform. That definitely bridges the gap for New Zealand players and the other guys. The pressure situation in the IPL has definitely helped us out as a nation.

Ross Taylor says there are still a few opportunities. and hopefully they will come his way.   -  AFP

In this year’s IPL, New Zealand cricketers were more in demand than Australians or South Africans…

Australia didn’t have many players in the IPL this year as they were playing (international cricket) during the tournament. Over the years, not just internationals, but even the Australian domestic players have been playing (in the IPL). New Zealand hasn’t had that much. I think the IPL has been great for New Zealand cricket with the way it has bridged the gap. Players are playing in full stadiums and the pressure of that is totally different to some of the international cricket. So, that has definitely helped.

Who according to you are the top batsmen in the world now?

Among the players who are still playing, Hashim Amla deserves a big credit. He is a fantastic player in all formats of the game, probably he doesn’t get the accolades he should. A. B. de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Joe Root… obviously Kane Williamson. He (Williamson) has got a fantastic record and he is a fantastic captain. He leads from the front. New Zealand hasn’t had a world-class player in the batting ranks who is talked about this much. He is a player that all can look up to.

There has been talk about your retirement after the World Cup…

I am definitely going to play on. We have got a Boxing Day Test this year (at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Australia); we haven’t had a Boxing Day for 30 years for New Zealand.

As long as I am good enough and still enjoying cricket, I can play for another couple of years. The next World Cup is a long way away, so I won’t commit to that. But you never know. Chris Gayle is 39 and I will be turning 39 by the time the next World Cup comes, so never say never…

From the 2015 World Cup to now, how has been the campaign?

I was happy with the way we played (in 2015). Obviously, I saw the ball a lot better… But 2015 seems like a long time away. I am happy hitting the ball and can hopefully play for a few more years.