New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor founded a unique club on Friday in Wellington when he took the field for the 1st Test vs India. The ongoing match at Basin Reserve happens to be the 100th Test match for the Kiwi veteran and he is now the only cricketer ever to play 100 matches in each of the 3 international formats.
Taylor, who recently played his 100th T20I vs India in January, has also played 231 ODIs for New Zealand. He is already the country’s leading run-scorer in Tests and ODIs with 7174 and 8570 runs to his name in each format respectively. In T20Is, former captain Brendon McCullum and opener Martin Guptill lie above him on the list.
However, at Basin Reserve on a nippy morning, Taylor would be mighty pleased by becoming the 1st-ever player to play 100 Tests, ODIs and T20Is. To be fair, T20Is are only 15 years old, so most cricketers of the past never had any chance against Taylor. But Taylor is the first of many who will follow suit as the number of T20Is keep on increasing in the next 2 years.
Before the 1st Test, Taylor was asked about the impending feat and the batsman had the most humble reply.
“Really excited about the occasion. It’s not a great sign when you wake up in the morning and there’s some rain around. Ian Smith said a few words at an event last night, and it was very nice for the team and the family to experience something they might never do again. I’ll need some help drinking (the hundred bottles of wine), but they can be stored for a while.
“It keeps the tradition from Fleming, Brendon (McCullum) and Daniel Vettori who all played over a hundred Tests each and hopefully we can celebrate this one with a win,” replied Taylor. said Taylor, who has scored more than 17,000 international runs.
Earlier, Kane Williamson won a crucial toss at Basin Reserve and didn’t have any hesitation in opting to send India in on what looked like a pitch full of grass.
“We’re gonna have a bowl. It’s still a bit soft. We’ve seen in the past that there is often a green tinge. We need to bowl well upfront. (Daryll) Mitchell is the one to miss out on. It’s a bit soft on the top. Obviously, Neil has bigger things on his plate. Kyle (Jamieson) has bowled well in the white-ball leg, hopefully, he steps up. The guys have all enjoyed themselves but we have a job in hand and need to be focussed,” said Williamson.
“We would have also bowled first. It’s a no-brainer on day one, gonna be overcast all day. That said, the pitch looks better than it was two days ago with a lot of the grass taken off. Still need to bat well. Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, Navdeep Saini and Ravindra Jadeja are the ones missing out. Our bowling attack is more experienced now and it’s important to be patient in New Zealand conditions. We have the confidence in recent years about winning away from home,” said Virat Kohli.