Still not the best of friends but lots of respect for Taylor: McCullum

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. (File Photo: IANS)

Auckland, March 22 (IANS) Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has said that his personal fallout with star batsman Ross Taylor stemmed from the process that led to the latter taking over captaincy from Daniel Vettori in 2011.

Taylor had pipped McCullum as captain after Vettori stepped down from the position following the 2011 World Cup after a lengthy deliberation.

“It put some pressure on my friendship and relationship with Ross. I have a lot of development and under-age cricket with Ross. I was the captain of the U-19 team and Taylor was my vice-captain. We’ve always got on really well,” McCullum said in a Sky Sports Podcast.

“We had to go for an interview for the job. It was about presenting the map for the future of New Zealand cricket to a panel. I don’t really know what we were doing. If I had my time, I would’ve said ‘No I’m not going to come and go through the process, you appoint Ross as captain and then we’ll see what unfolds from there.’

“It’s a bad stain for New Zealand cricket and put pressure on Ross and me. Then it led me to eventually take over the captaincy from Ross,” said McCullum.

Taylor had issues with coach Mike Hesson after a 1-1 draw in a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2012. This followed the series defeats in South Africa, the West Indies and India and a slip to ninth in the ODI rankings.

Taylor was given the option of remaining the Test captain while McCullum leads the limited overs sides but he declined.

“I was asked if I wanted to take over the role of New Zealand captain in all three formats. So initially, I told them I would get back to them. I needed to think long and hard thought it.

“I knew it would be a major controversial decision. I knew it could have major ramifications on NZ Cricket, and also on my time as a player. I sat down with my wife, and said ‘you are the best equipped to do it, if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, but you’re the best equipped to do it’. So I gave them a call, and said I would do it.

“Ross had turned down the Test captaincy role. I don’t know what happened at the time. There was a lot of controversy. New Zealand Cricket has moved on from that time now,” McCullum said.

McCullum eventually took over in all formats in December 2012 and stayed in the role until his retirement in 2016. Kane Williamson has led the side since.

McCullum said that he and Taylor are still not the best of friends but he has a lot of respect for New Zealand’s all time highest ODI run scorer. “We are not best friends. I have immense amount of respect for him. He has a lovely family and a great career. He is at peace and content in his personal life. He has done really really well,” said McCullum.

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