Before leaving Hyderabad after the first Test defeat, Ross Taylor sat in the hotel coffee shop with his wife and young daughter. The loss inside four days was hurting but he hid the disappointment. The hotel staff had grown fond of the trio. A question about the loss came as a jarring note and
Taylor had no answer. "I guess we'll have to do something to get out of this. But nice to meet you," he said, almost wishing this questioner away.
Pragyan Ojha (left) celebrates Martin Guptill's dismissal with Suresh Raina in Bangalore on Friday. AFP Photo
A couple of days later he'd struck upon a magic formula. For when he walked to face the media on Thursday, he had worked out a plan. "We'll attack the spinners," he said. "We are not thinking about the first Test loss. We have to be brave and courageous to put pressure on the spinners."
Opening batsman Martin Guptill, who hit an attacking half-century, said that the team had a meeting and it was decided to take the attack to the spinners.
Any one of the shots, especially off the first few deliveries when Taylor missed a cut, swept from outside off for no run, and then defended awkwardly could have got him out. The skipper was living dangerously, but it was his day.
His six over long off against Pragyan Ojha just after reaching his century reminded many of his aggressive approach in the IPL. The Royal Challengers Bangalore is his former IPL team and he knows the ground conditions very well. "Some of the shots he played were very positive and it helps if someone plays like that," said Guptill.
Taylor had just two centuries in his previous 42 innings, and when reminded of that the previous day, he had promised to break that barren run. And this one will be remembered for a long time as it happens to be the fastest hundred by a New Zealand batsman in India.
The positive approach of Taylor and Guptill even rubbed on to the struggling Daniel Flynn and wicketkeeper Kruger Van Wyk, who is there to keep the Kiwis hoping to put up a good total.