WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s defeat in the opening match may have marred Ross Taylor’s farewell Test series but the retiring stalwart believes Bangladesh’s shock victory at Mount Maunganui was a massive boost for the game and the format.
Bangladesh, currently ranked ninth, stunned world Test champions New Zealand by eight wickets on Wednesday for their first victory against New Zealand at the 16th attempt.
A smarting New Zealand will be bidding to level the series in Christchurch, which hosts the second and final Test from Sunday, and give Taylor a fitting farewell.
After a decade-and-half in international cricket, Taylor, however, took a philosophical view of their opening Test debacle.
“If you look at it from a neutral point of view, I think it was good for world cricket,” the 37-year-old told reporters at the Hagley Oval.
“I think for Bangladesh to come in, a proud nation with a lot of proud history, for the game of cricket and Test cricket, I don’t think this was a bad result.
“Obviously, we were disappointed that we didn’t put up a bit of a contest. We were outplayed the whole time but I think for Test cricket to survive, we need Bangladesh to be a thriving nation.”
The victory at Mount Maunganui was among the biggest shocks in the history of Test cricket as one of the poorest performers in the longest format of the game snapped New Zealand’s 17-match unbeaten streak on home soil.
Taylor hoped the side under Mominul Haque would only get better with time.
“They’ll get a lot of confidence from that, not only for this tour, but for the rest of their tours going around over the next few years.”
Taylor hoped New Zealand bowlers would give a better account of themselves in Christchurch where conditions would suit them. “I think it’s going to have bounce and carry the whole time and there’s going be a lot of grass on it,” said the former Kiwis skipper.
“I’m sure the bowlers will be licking their lips and obviously our batters need to do apply ourselves better than we did.”
Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2022