Ross Taylor reveals the dark side of his career
New Zealand’s star batsman Ross Taylor has reflected on what was one of the darkest days in his cricketing career and revealed how he has been dealing with the after-effects of that nerve-wracking ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final.
In the year 2012, during a test match at Galle in Sri Lanka, Taylor learned that he would have the captaincy taken from his shoulders. In his final test at the charge, Ross Taylor chipped in with significant 142 and 70 in his two innings to steer the Black Caps to the win.
Speaking to ESPNCricInfo, Taylor said: “I went two weeks without sleep. I was having probably two hours of sleep each night. But I was still able to score a 140-odd and back it up with a 70. It’s amazing how resilient I felt I was back then. Things happen in life that are out of your control. It is what it is.
“I look back at the World Cup final at Lord’s and I don’t think you can get further apart from Galle in 2012 to Lord’s in 2019. Life is about ups and downs. The high of Lord’s trumps anything that’s happened to me in cricket.”
Not only he was sacked from captaincy that brought down his confidence, but also he ran through a bad spell of injuries and more importantly, he required surgery to fix the issue.
In Zimbabwe in 2015, he needed surgery after sustaining a blow to the groin during training a day before an ODI.
“I had some freaky injuries, but that’s a sport, I guess. The operation in Zimbabwe was interesting. The medical release just said it was an injury to the groin, so when I got home people just thought I’d hurt my groin. When I explained [that it was a testicle injury], it was a bit of a shock. The surgeon took a photo of it, and our doctor at the time sent it through to me. I found later that in New Zealand taking that kind of photo isn’t legal.”
He then underwent surgery to get rid of growth from his eye which was preventing his vision. He also said that he got to the stage where he didn’t want to ball to come close to him in the field because he had some big trouble seeing it.
However, since having the surgery to fix the problem, Ross Taylor has been back to his best.
“Two weeks after the (eye) surgery I had throwdowns with the trainer and I saw the ball swing from the hand for the first time. At the start of my innings for a couple of years, I was even more fidgety than normal. I just kept missing balls that I felt I should be at least getting in behind.
“I was playing and missing and was very late on it. I was still able to score runs, but your confidence in your first 10 to 20 balls was not as good as it should have been. Once I saw the ball swing from the hand, I felt like a 20-year-old again.”
Six weeks after the Cricket World Cup final at Lord’s – and the mad tied Super Over ending, Ross Taylor said: “It would have been nice to have won it.
“It wasn’t until we got home to New Zealand that you knew what the effect was. I had a holiday with my family in France, just to get away from it afterwards, and had a lot of people were coming up – English, Kiwis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans – saying what a fantastic game it was, and that it was something that they’d never forget,’ he told ESPNCricinfo.
“And when we got home, people would come up and tell you their stories of how they’d watched the game – the lack of sleep and how they got through the next day.
“With the time zones, Kiwis would have been up all night. They’d all correct you when you said, ‘Sorry we lost the game’. They’d stop you right there and go: ‘No, you didn’t lose the game, you tied the game’.
“I was surprised how many people said that. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in two World Cup finals, in Melbourne and at Lord’s. You couldn’t ask for two better places, given the history of the grounds. Just disappointed we couldn’t lift the trophy.”