Taylor ready to get ‘stuck in’ with Zimbabwe
Batsman Brendan Taylor believes he has become a better player over the last two years and is ready to get “stuck in” as he revives his international career with Zimbabwe.
The 31-year-old Taylor retired from international cricket after the 2015 World Cup to take up a Kolpak deal with English county side Nottinghamshire.
The right-hander played a starring role as he helped Notts to the One-Day Cup and T20 Blast titles this season but has made the decision to return to his home country.
Taylor was undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s best batter when he called it quits two years ago but feels he has grown his game while playing in England.
Zimbabwe have a busy schedule ahead of them with a one-day series against the Netherlands starting this week, a two-Test series at home against the West Indies as well as a one-off Test in South Africa on Boxing Day.
All those games will help the team build up for the 2019 World Cup qualifiers set to take place in March next year and the timing of Taylor’s return could not be better.
Taylor told Sports World: “I believe my decision to go away has helped me grow as a player and I’m sure I will come back a better player.
“I’m really excited to get stuck in and work with the guys again and I feel that Zimbabwe Cricket is heading in a positive direction again and if I can add some value here and there, that will be great.
“I’m really looking to get back into the field and representing my country in international cricket, which is the pinnacle for every player and hopefully I can win matches for Zimbabwe again.
“The goal will be to play in the upcoming test series against West Indies and obviously the World Cup qualifiers early next year.”
Taylor also praised the strides made by the country’s cricket board (ZC) to improve the national team on the field and also take care of important matters off the field.
Under coach Heath Streak, captain Graeme Cremer and chief selector Tatenda Taibu, the African side enjoyed a successful tour to Sri Lanka earlier this year, winning the ODI series and falling just short in the one-off Test.
Taylor continued: “I believe the team already has some experienced players, there are guys who are coming up to 200 ODIs and the other guys with less experience are really starting to gel.
“Guys like Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza for instance are starting to put up performances together and become more consistent, which is quite positive because consistency has always been an issue with Zimbabwe Cricket.
“We have not been consistent enough as a whole in the past but I think we are starting to find the right balance due to the fact that the team is now starting to play more matches, so there’s some momentum on their side, unlike the stop-start system which we used to have in the past.”
Jamie Overton happy to entertain on rollercoaster England Test debut
The pace bowler fell three runs short of a remarkable century at Headingley.
England have Headingley buzzing again as late burst rocks New Zealand
The tourists will resume on Sunday 137 runs ahead with five wickets down.
Jamie Overton falls just short of debut century for England in tight third Test
Overton was caught behind for 97 in the morning session.
Azeem Rafiq attends third day of Headingley Test as guest of Yorkshire
Rafiq enjoyed Saturday’s action from a balcony at the Pavilion End
Jamie Overton falls just short of debut Test century as England take narrow lead
Newcomer Overton was caught behind for 97.
George Scrimshaw holds final-over nerves to guide Derbyshire past Lancashire
Scrimshaw successfully defended the 10 runs in the final over.
Jonny Bairstow and England looking to ‘take the game forward’
Bairstow hit a run-a-ball hundred for the second Test in succession as England fought back spectacularly against New Zealand.
Jonny Bairstow century leads thrilling England fightback at Headingley
The Yorkshireman made 130 not out and put on 209 with debutant Jamie Overton to rescue his side from 55 for six against New Zealand.
England top order left in tatters as New Zealand gain upper hand at Headingley
The hosts were 93 for six in reply to New Zealand’s 329 all out.
Daryl Mitchell breaks record with another century against England
Mitchell broke Martin Donnelly’s New Zealand tally of 492 runs in a series in England, set back in 1949.