Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag (L) celebrates with team mates Ross Taylor (2 R), Morne Morkel (R) and Naman Ojha after the wicket of Mumbai Indians batsman Kieron Pollard during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. AFP Photo/Punit Paranjpe
Ross Taylor’s right thigh was wrapped tightly, a souvenir from the previous night.
“The (Lasith) Malinga full toss,” he smiled, referring to the slinger delivery that dealt him a painful blow and also got him out, trapped leg before in Delhi Daredevils’ win over Mumbai Indians at the Ferozshah Kotla on Friday.
The outside of his left forearm had an almost five-inch long laceration, a reminder of the damage caused by another fast bowler. South African Morne Morkel’s missile had left the New Zealand skipper with a fracture in the final Test in Wellington in the last week of March.
With barely a week left for the Indian Premier League to kick-off, the 28-year-old batsman underwent surgery for quick recovery.
“They’ve inserted a steel plate, there are six grooves. But I’m stronger now than I was before,” he laughed.
It was an example of players willing to go the extra distance to be part of the lucrative league. It’s Taylor’s third team and he has come to Delhi from Rajasthan Royals.
Foe turns friend
Morkel is now his DD teammate.
“Morne gave me a call and he was very remorseful. I didn’t know him that well but I had a bit of a chat. Since I have been here, I have known him better,” he told HT.
Taylor is pleased Kiwi players are also making an impact in the IPL.
“Some of the players won’t get much of a go in other parts like the (English) county, they are getting their chance here.”
But he will be particularly watching Jesse Ryder, the talented top-order batsman who is enduring a topsy-turvy career due to disciplinary issues brought about by alcohol. The Pune Warriors player is travelling with his manager as well as a clinical psychologist.
Taylor hoped Ryder would stay focused. “We’re still waiting on Jesse. As long as he keeps improving, if he can show he can do that (scoring) for a consistent period of time, he will be back in the team.”
Time to shine
Cricket New Zealand have made it clear they won’t gamble by picking him for the West Indies tour starting in June. Taylor, who watched Ryder’s match-winning half-century against his team on April 21, is hopeful.
“I had a brief chat with him, Jesse is a pretty relaxed type of character. I haven’t talked to the selectors. He’s still got a bit to go. If he continues on the upward spiral, he is not far away.”
Ryder is the second-highest run-getter for the Warriors with two match-winning half centuries.