Interview with Brendan Taylor: "India are favourites to win World T20"
When Brendan Talyor retired, the feelings running through most cricket fans were bittersweet. Bitter, because a talented player like him was bidding adieu to the international game. But, sweet because he bid farewell in the best way a batsman could – scoring runs aplenty.
In an international career that spanned nearly 11 years, Brendan Taylor played 216 matches and scored 7345 runs at an average of 34.16. He scored 12 centuries and 44 half-centuries in his international career.
Taylor played the last six games of his Zimbabwe career at the 2015 World Cup in Australia/New Zealand. The 29-year-old put in one of the best tournament performances as he scored 433 runs in 6 matches at a phenomenal average of 72.16. His last match, against 2011 Champions, India, saw him score a sensational hundred to help Zimbabwe post a competitive total.
There is no denying the great talent that Brendan Taylor still is, as he continues to play quality cricket for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship. Taylor also featured in the Bangladesh Premier League for the Barisal Bulls.
However, on January 29th, Taylor will be taking on a new challenge as he will play for the Leo Lions in the newly-formed Masters Champions League (MCL).
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Taylor opened up on his thoughts about the MCL, his post-retirement life, about Zimbabwean cricket and his thoughts on the upcoming World T20.
What are your views on the MCL?
There is a lot of excitement regarding the MCL. Many world-renowned players playing in the tournament will make it very interesting and exciting, and we are all set for a strong tournament. It will also be a great opportunity to mingle with players from different parts of the world and play with and against them.
Any favourites for the MCL looking at the teams on paper?
On paper, there are three or four teams that look strong and could win the tournament. But, T20 is such an unpredictable format. Hopefully, we [Leo Lions] can perform well and make it to the semi-finals of the competition.
Zimbabwe lost to Afghanistan recently in the UAE. Following that, how optimistic are you about the future of Zimbabwean cricket?
Zimbabwe fought back to draw the series against Bangladesh 2-2. So, they are a much better side than the one that played against Afghanistan. Having said that, Afghanistan are an improving side in cricket and have been performing well for a while now. With Zimbabwe cricket, there are problems with the senior players. Some of the players need to take a good look at themselves and put in better performances for their country.
Would you be willing to play for Zimbabwe again?
I am currently enjoying playing county cricket for Notts. There are two more years left on my contract with Notts. I just want to focus on playing good cricket there and take one year at a time. After the contract expires, I will consider my options and consider playing international cricket once again.
What emotions went through your mind at Eden Park when you scored a century against India and when you got out?
It was satisfying on a personal end. But it was frustrating as we got knocked out of the tournament. The drop catch of [Suresh] Raina was a crucial point in the match and he took the match away from us after a wonderful partnership with MSD [MS Dhoni].
Your thoughts on the current Indian cricket team?
MS Dhoni's boots are big ones to fill and it is not an easy task. But, there is no better player to do it than Virat Kohli, he is the perfect man for the job. His performances on the field have been outstanding. His energy and passion on the field are feeding off on the younger players and that helps. The recent ODI series loss against Australia does not tell the true story of the Indian cricket team's performances. The win in [Tuesday's] T20I showed the quality that India has.
Finally, who are your favourites for the World T20?
Considering that the tournament is in in India, I will have to go with India. They are a strong home side. And they showed that during the 2011 World Cup [which also was in India].
Details of the first match of the Oxigen Masters Champions League:
Match: Libra Legends v Gemini Arabians
Date: January 28, 2016
Time: 2000 IST
Channels: Sony SIX, Sony SIX HD