WTC final: “Might have retired if NZ had won 2019 World Cup” – Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has stated that he might have retired from international cricket if his side had won the 2019 ODI World Cup.

Two years after the heartbreak at Lord’s, New Zealand are set to play India in another ICC tournament summit clash. The World Test Championship (WTC) final, beginning at Southampton on Friday, will be New Zealand’s third final at a world event in six years.

After losing the 2015 World Cup final against Australia, New Zealand beat India in the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup to set a grand finale date with hosts England. The final ended in a tie, following which the teams tussled in a Super Over which also ended in a stalemate. England were eventually crowned champions on the pre-decided "boundary count" rule.

“It was disappointing to have lost that match at Lord’s a couple of years ago. I guess, when you lose, you feel that it might be the last time you are playing a World Cup final, so it is nice for me to be here. If we did win that game, I might have retired after that. I am glad I did not, and I am here today,” said Taylor during a virtual press conference.

In a career spanning over a decade-and-a-half, Ross Taylor is New Zealand’s most-capped cricketer with 442 international matches across all formats. The 37-year-old is also his country’s leading run-scorer in international cricket, and is just four shy of recording 18,000 international runs.

India, a fantastic side: Ross Taylor

Praising the Kiwis' WTC final opponent, Ross Taylor called India a “fantastic side” and hailed their win in Australia last season. The Kiwi batsman believes the Indian side have all the necessary ingredients to excel in the WTC final.

“India has been a fantastic side for a long period of time -- not only their batters but also their bowlers. They won a series against Australia in its home summer, and it was great to watch. It was nice for the New Zealand public to see some world-class bowling against a very good Australian attack.

Ross Taylor added that India have had "a fair lot of success here (England) as well." He also stated that he was sure the Indian bowlers would have enjoyed the swing and the bounce that the Duke’s ball offers.

“We are looking forward to the challenge. You go through the Indian line-up, and there are just world-class players throughout. Whatever side they decide to go with, it will have world-class players. India has been a world No.1 side for a long time. They will be very tough opposition,” Ross Taylor added.

Even with a second-string side, India beat the mighty Australian side at home in the 2020/21 season to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The victory also helped the side earn crucial points in the WTC and boosted their chances of making it to the tournament final. However, India come into this game having not contested a single Test match since February 2021.

New Zealand, on the other hand, beat England at Birmingham less than a week ago to win their first series in the country in 22 years. The 1-0 series win helped them displace India from the No.1 Test spot. Ross Taylor believes the England series has helped them acclimatize ahead of the WTC final.

“It was an ideal preparation, having played two Test matches against England in these conditions. Cannot think of anything better,” Ross Taylor further added.

Currently ranked 19th in the ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen, Taylor will be playing his 108th Test for New Zealand when he takes the field at Southampton. Already New Zealand’s highest run-getter in Test cricket, Ross Taylor is only the fourth Black Caps cricketer after Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum to play over a 100 Tests for his nation.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman
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