Friday, Oct 24, 2014

New Zealand strategy for Indian spinners: Play off the back foot and into gaps

Ross Taylor said the Black Caps are now looking to play the Indian spinners off the back foot, and into the gaps (AP) Ross Taylor said the Black Caps are now looking to play the Indian spinners off the back foot, and into the gaps (AP)
Press Trust of India | Hamilton | Posted: January 29, 2014 1:07 pm

Revealing New Zealand’s strategy that has outwitted Indian bowlers in the ongoing ODI series, batsman Ross Taylor said the Kiwis have focussed on denying wickets to the visiting side’s spinners to wear out the rest of their attack.

The Kiwis have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series after comfortably winning the fourth ODI.

The highlight of their effort in the series has been the way Taylor and Kane Williamson have combined to counter the Indian bowling in the middle overs to repeatedly lay down the platform for tall scores.

The one time they batted second, in the fourth ODI, the Taylor-Williamson combination once again proved to be the game-changer.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) was pretty tough against the spinner. Against (Ravindra) Jadeja, I don’t think we laid a bat on ball in those first couple of overs. He bowled very well, on another day, he could have got a couple of wickets and stifled our momentum,” said Taylor.

“In the past, I have played a few years in India and in New Zealand, it doesn’t really turn as much and you just lunge on the front foot. But now our strategy has been to play off the back foot as much as possible and play into the gaps.

“Kane is a very good player of spin and we knew then that if we could negate them, we gave ourselves the chance to put pressure on their fifth and sixth bowler and that’s what we did,” he added.

Taylor said he aspires to be a consistent batsman in international cricket. He scored his ninth one-day hundred in the fourth ODI versus India.

“I have been trying to get into a mindset and a routine, and just play ball by ball,” Taylor said, after his match-winning knock at Seddon Park.

“I have played enough international cricket to know my strengths and weaknesses, and just to give myself the best chance to be as consistent as possible. In the past, I have probably been consistent in a couple of games and been quite inconsistent for a few, so I want to try and be as consistent as possible.”

“The captain has said that my job is to try and bat through the middle overs, and give our power-hitters as much chance to try and express themselves in the last 15 overs. The way Kane (Williamson) has been batting has helped me along the way as well,” Taylor added.

His partnership with Williamson has paid rich dividends for New Zealand, with the two batsmen putting up 121 and 130 runs in the first and fourth ODIs respectively, as also a half-century partnership in the second ODI.

For Taylor, the journey has been about going from being a hard-hitting batsman continued…

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