Tayls — he wins
The rise and rise of the remarkable continues in the twilight of his career. In a stunning one-day international series against Sri Lanka he made scores of 54, 90 and 137. It was a continuation of sorts from his dramatic one-legged 181 not out last summer against England and in the past 12 months he’s scored 863 ODI runs (nearly double Kane Williamson’s 466) at an average of 95.88. Sometime this year — fitness allowing — he will overtake Stephen Fleming as New Zealand’s leading run-scorer in ODIs and his record suggests he’s a better 50-over player than Fleming, or even Nathan Astle, the other Kiwi to have posted more than 7000 ODI runs. In 268 innings, Fleming made 8007 runs with eight centuries,
49 half-centuries and 17 ducks at a strike-rate of 71.40 and an average of 32.41. Taylor, in contrast, has batted
195 times for his 7714 runs with 20 tons, 45 halfcenturies and just nine ducks. His strike rate is 83.17, average 47.91. Astle played 217 innings to make 7090 runs with 16 centuries, 41 half-centuries and 19 ducks, with a strike-rate of 72.64 and an average of 34.92. Both Astle and Fleming are spoken of reverentially when it comes to New Zealand’s best ODI players but Taylor — who hasn’t always been shown the same love — is leaving them both in the shade. Let’s savour and celebrate this class act for as long as he’s around.