7 December 2012

Zimbabwe: World Cup Ghost Haunts Taylor

The T-20 Cricket World Cup debacle where Zimbabwe displayed one of its worst performances could cost captain Brendan Taylor dearly.

Independent Sport last week revealed a plan by the Zimbabwe Cricket board to replace Taylor with Tino Mawoyo as captain of the Test side while retaining the right-handed batsman as captain of the limited overs version.

Investigations to ascertain why Taylor had fallen out of favour despite good performances and results since he was given the job revealed that the top-order batsman is under fire for his World Cup performance where he scored just four runs in two innings.

According to a report presented to the board on the World Cup, Taylor should not have even gone to Sri Lanka because he had failed a fitness test.

The 26-year-old was the only player in the squad to have failed a fitness test ahead of the World Cup, but rules were bent to accommodate him.

A reliable source revealed that the board is considering stripping Taylor of the captaincy because he had failed to show responsibility.

"He is the only player to have failed a fitness test ahead of the tournament," said the source. "If it was any other player he would have been dropped. He was not injured, but he just showed he was a bit irresponsible. He is supposed to lead from the front but he fails a fitness test which is unacceptable.

Subsequently, he went there and scored just four runs. There is a report presented to the board which suggests he should be stripped of the captaincy."

After assuming the captaincy from Elton Chigumbura last year, Taylor hit top form scoring Test centuries against Bangladesh and New Zealand.

But the World Cup was a catastrophe as he went out for a duck against Sri Lanka before being dismissed for just four runs against South Africa.

He has, however, played well in the One-Day matches and T-20s over the period resulting in him winning the Cricketer of the Year award twice on the trot.

Another suggestion is to keep Taylor as the Test captain and have someone else captain the limited overs team.

The World Cup debacle aside, the feeling is that Taylor has been given too much responsibility considering he has assumed the wicket keeping duties after the retirement of Tatenda Taibu.

Zimbabwe will tour the West Indies in February where they will play two Tests, three ODIs and two T-20s.

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