Kane Williamson's tribute to Ross Taylor

Publish Date
Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 8:22AM

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson has paid tribute to Ross Taylor, who capped off his test career with a fairytale finish yesterday.

Taylor took the final wicket in the Black Caps' victory over Bangladesh at Hagley Oval, just the third wicket in a career that holds a slew of New Zealand batting records.

The wicket saw Taylor get mobbed by his teammates, and led to Williamson, who missed the test as he manages an elbow injury, jokingly ponder whether he had been under-bowling Taylor his whole career.

"I wish he'd told us earlier, he landed them beautifully," laughed Williamson. "All the guys always encourage me to come on and have a roll, but an incredibly fitting and really fun end to an amazing test career."

Taylor was at the crease when Williamson walked out for his first international innings in a ODI against India in 2010, and the pair played together ever since, pushing each other to higher performances.

There are plenty of shared on-field memories held by the pair – none topped by the duo being at the crease together to hit the winning runs in the World Test Championship final – but Williamson valued Taylor's contributions off the field as well.

"[Everyone] will talk a lot about his achievements over the years on the park but what he's added as a senior player over such a long period of time – he's been through so many transitions and it's been amazing to have him by my side as a really sound head, experienced guy," Williamson said on Spark Sport.

"He's seen it all and he's been a part of so many transitions of new players, new staff, and he's been a big part of buying in to whatever change of direction that's had to be made. Leading with his experience over the years as one of our best ever, with young players coming in he's really set a standard for all of us to continue to aspire to. He deserves a lot of credit for the development of our game over the last number of years. He's given so much, he's a pretty calm dude – really competitive but off the field and in the dressing room he is that sound mind that often is required in international sport."

Taylor said that he knew he could play one-dayers, but was uncertain whether he'd become a test batsman, stating pride in his efforts for what he had accomplished in the longest format.

Williamson concurred, praising his evolution and contributions in all formats.

"His game has evolved but one thing that's never changed is his hunger and appetite for runs. He's always gone out and you know he's going to apply himself well and achieve great things, and that's what he's done for such a number of years. He's always looked to make those subtle adjustments.

"He used to come out in white ball cricket and hit a lot of balls [to cow corner], and did it very well, but in the test format it perhaps wasn't as profitable and he made those adjustments and clearly did it to the highest standard.

"He's done it all and it's amazing to be involved and be a part of his journey."

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission