‘England are a Confident Side, But India Will Always Be Favorites at Home’, Feels Ross Taylor

Reported By: Suramya Kaushik

Last Updated: February 15, 2024, 20:32 IST

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Ross Taylor. (X, Ross Taylor)

Ross Taylor. (X, Ross Taylor)

Former New Zealand captain Taylor feels India are still favourites to win the home Test series against England despite the long list of injuries.

Even though the Indian youngsters failed to get going on Day 1 of the 3rd Test between India and England at Rajkot, former New Zealand skipper Ross Talyor believes that it will be the youngsters who will play a big part in the series. Taylor told CricketNext in an exclusive conversation that he is looking forward to young talents in the Indian Test side as they will have to show up in the absence of experienced players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.

“They’ll have to perform. Obviously, so far, the tosses have played a big part. Whoever won the toss, has won the match. But I think every time you go to India, it’s a very tough place to play. And India are always favourites. But this England side is very confident in the way they play their cricket. So, you can never rule them out.”

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After the first Test match, India were hit with injuries – both Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul missed the Vizag Test. Jadeja confirmed himself for Rajkot, but BCCI medical staff didn’t give medical clearance to Rahul, who complained of right quadriceps pain in Hyderabad. Indian ace batter, Kohli, who first withdrew from the first two Tests because of ‘personal reasons’ also took a step back from the entire series. This left India muddled but undoubtedly, India in their home conditions have always been lethal and still are the favourites in the ongoing series.

“India obviously have a lot of injuries, as you mentioned, resting fast bowlers and things like that. It’ll be interesting, the balance and the composition of the sides going forward. But I still think India are the favourites at the moment,” said Taylor.

Though Shubman Gill didn’t get his desired start in Rajkot his century in Vizag left the world impressed. Taylor said that he finds Gill the most fantastic player among the Indian youngsters and the one who can take India to important victories.

“I haven’t seen a lot of them (young Indian players) but some of them, but the player that I’ve seen the most is probably Shubman Gill. I think he’s a fantastic player, said Taylor, adding, “He had a few quiet Test matches, but obviously got a very good hundred in the last game. So I’m sure Rahul (Dravid) and Rohit (Sharma) will be wanting him to continue that form, and I’m sure the Indian public do too.”

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Taylor is currently in Dubai as the batting coach of Dubai Capitals in ILT20 and has full faith in the team to reach the finals. Capitals had a rollercoaster season as they jumped from the rock-bottom position to the Eliminator and then stamped a victory over Abu Dhabi Knight Riders to reach Qualifier 2. With just one match away, Taylor has put his bet on the winning momentum that has been on the Capitals’ side since the last few matches.

“I think we started off the tournament very well and then went through a bit of a lull there. We’ve had some personnel changes, they’ve come in and played very well and now we’ve won three on the bounce and are going into a semi-final. So, I think we’re a happy camp at the moment and quite often momentum plays a big part in this format of the game and there’s definitely momentum on our side.”

Sam Billings-led Dubai Capitals will face Gulf Giants in Qualifier 2 at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on February 15 (Thursday). Ahead of the Qualifier 2, Taylor mentioned the switch in captaincy from David Warner to Billings and how the shift impacted the team.

Taylor said, “I think, Sam and David are very good captains and both got a different style, but I think the team was just starting to hit its stride when David had to go. He is playing very well in Australia and yeah, Sam has led the side very well and as I said before, the players coming in have done very well so we don’t want to look too far ahead. Hopefully, in the semi-finals, we continue to play the brand of cricket that we have been playing.”

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