Brendan Taylor

2010-10-13 20:44

Full name: Brendan Ross Murray Taylor

Born: February 6, 1986, Harare

Current age: 24 years

Major teams: Zimbabwe, Mashonaland A, Mid West Rhinos, Zimbabwe Under-19s

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

Brendan Taylor, who was fast-tracked into the Zimbabwe national team against Sri Lanka in 2003-04 at the age of 18 after the withdrawal of the so-called rebel players, shot to prominence at Cape Town on September 12, 2007, when his ice-cool 60 not out carried Zimbabwe to an incredible five-wicket win over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20. Taylor was back where he began as an opening batsman, having briefly moved down the order, and he marshalled a tense run-chase with the sort of sang froid that few had ever credited him with. It was not the first time he has displayed a calm head in a pressurised situation, however. In August 2006 he smoked 17 runs from the last over of a run chase - including a six to win off the last ball when five were needed - to give Zimbabwe a 2-1 lead in the ODI series against Bangladesh. Taylor has always had the ability to build an innings, but developed a penchant for being dismissed while trying to play too aggressively.

He was nurtured by Iain Campbell, father of Alistair, at the well-known Lilfordia primary school near Harare, was a regular choice for national age-group teams and played in two Under-19 World Cups. He made his first-class debut for Mashonaland A at the age of 15; the following year he scored 200 not out in the B Division of the Logan Cup. He appears to be well regarded in Zimbabwe Cricket, so much so that he was picked for the national side despite not signing a new contract at the start of 2006, and despite an earlier suspension for disciplinary reasons. With the temporary departure of Tatenda Taibu, he took over the wicketkeeping gloves in the West Indies; he has kept wicket regularly since primary school. As a batsman he was well respected by the opposition, but tended to get out when well set. Poor footwork was also a handicap at times, but has worked to improve that, and in November 2009 struck his maiden one-day hundred, playing a lone hand in his unbeaten 118 as Zimbabwe struggled to 221 for 9 in unfamiliar conditions. His favourite stroke is the full-blooded front-foot cover drive, and though he is not quick in the field, he has a very safe pair of hands.



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