BRENDAN Taylor reckons he still has a lot to prove for his name to be mentioned alongside the greats of the game despite his record-breaking performances during the national cricket team’s recent tour of Bangladesh.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Zimbabwe cricket star recently joined a unique club of 11 players to have scored a century in each innings of a Test match on two occasions, following his scores of 110 and 106 not out during the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
The exclusive two-ton club features greats of world cricket such as Sir Clyde Walcott of West Indies, Australians Allan Border, Matthew Hayden and Greg Chappell, Herbert Sutcliffe of England, Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara and Aravinda de Silva, India’s Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis of South Africa.
His two hundreds in Dhaka also meant Taylor became the first Zimbabwean to do so on two different occasions, rivalled only by brothers Andy and Grant Flower — who both reached the milestone once. Taylor, however, is the first Zimbabwean cricketer to achieve the feat away from home as both the Flower brothers achieved that at Harare Sports Club.
Despite such glowing individual records, Taylor insists he still has a lot of work to do to merit being named alongside some of the greats of the game.
“I wasn’t really aware that my achievement was alongside great names such as Walcott, Border, Hayden, and Kallis,” Taylor told Standardsport in an interview yesterday.
“It’s obviously an honour, but to be honest with you I think it’s not quite fair to put my name alongside those absolute greats of the game who have achieved so much more than I have. It’s a special little achievement that I will always keep very close to me, but at the end of the day I believe I still have a long way to go and still have a lot to prove and a lot to try and achieve for Zimbabwe, that’s my goal,” he said.
The 32-year-old attributed his form during the Bangladesh tour to the momentum he gained from the preceeding limited-overs series in South Africa as well as the amount of hard work he put in preparation.
Zimbabwe bounced back from a 3-0 series whitewash against Bangladesh in the one-day international to secure a 1-1 draw in the two-match Test series.
“It was actually nice to play some cricket leading up to the Bangladesh series, Zimbabwe has always been pretty much stop-start, we find some momentum when we play some cricket and then we don’t play for three or four months and that’s always quite hard to come from.
“Fortunately we had a series against South Africa, that was a tough series but helped us get into the swing of things leading up to the Bangladesh series which is always a tough one when they are playing in their own backyard. But certainly I put it down to the amount of time I put in the nets, getting a high volume of balls hit in the nets; I’m a firm believer in that if you put the time in, you’re going to get rewarded. It might not be straight away, but down the line you’re certainly going to reap some benefits and that’s always been my mindset.”
Taylor, who is currently participating in the T10 Super League in the United Arab Emirates, is hopeful that Zimbabwe Cricket will organise some international matches for the national side before their tour of India in March.
“I understand Zimbabwe Cricket are trying to line up some cricket for us before next year’s India tour because it’s hugely important. You can’t go for a series against India undercooked and with no game time, so hopefully we can put together some high quality cricket against opposition that will test you,” he said.
Taylor is also scheduled to take part in the Bangladesh Premier League and the Pakistan Super League.