Ross Taylor has been the pillar of New Zealand’s batting ever since his debut against West Indies in March 2006. In his 13-year playing career, Taylor has broken several records and has made some outstanding contributions for New Zealand. On February 20, 2019, Taylor added yet another feather to his cap by becoming the leading run-getter for New Zealand in ODIs by breaking Stephen Fleming’s record during the third and final ODI against Bangladesh at the University Oval in Dundedin on Wednesday. Fleming, the former New Zealand skipper, had 8007 runs in 279 ODIs at an average of 32.41 while Taylor went past the mark in just 218 matches and in his 203rd innings. The right-hander reached 8000 runs when he drove a full ball from Mashrafe Mortaza and he went past Fleming’s landmark by whipping offspinner Mehidy Hasan to the deep square leg fence.
Taylor went past his 47th fifty and looked good for a century but he top-edged a short ball from Rubel Hossain to be caught at deep midwicket for 69. Fifties from Henry Nicholls (64), Tom Latham (59) and aggressive cameos from James Neesham and Colin de Gradhomme helped New Zealand reach 330/6 and in response, New Zealand wrecked the Bangladesh top order to near a win.
The right-hander has the best average among New Zealand players who have played more than 150 ODIs with 48.34, with current skipper Kane Williamson second with 45.90. Taylor has reached the landmark faster than Fleming, with the left-hander taking 268 innings as reach the landmark.
When it comes to number of centuries for New Zealand, Taylor stands heads and shoulders above all players. In ODIs and Tests combined, he has a total of 37 centuries which is the most. In ODIs, he has 20 tons, which is the most with Martin Guptill and Nathan Astle tied second with 16 centuries.
In the last couple of years, Taylor has been the form batsman for New Zealand in ODIs. In 2017, he slammed 968 runs at an average of 60 but in 2018, he enjoyed his best year when he hammered 639 runs in 11 games at an average of 91, almost challenging Virat Kohli. In 2019 so far, he has hit 537 runs at an average of 74 and was the only batsman to make a valuable contribution for the side during New Zealand’s 1-4 loss to India in the recent ODIs.
Taylor will be the gun player for New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and this might be his last tournament for the country as they look to win the marquee event for the first-time ever.