In the six years of Indian Premier League, Ross Taylor has played for four different teams. Now back in Delhi Daredevils, with whom he was associated in 2012, the New Zealander hoped the franchise could return to winning ways.
The former New Zealand captain was picked by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the first three seasons before he was signed by the Rajasthan Royals in 2011. He was transferred to the Delhi Daredevils prior to IPL 2012 and traded to Pune Warriors in 2013. Daredevils overhauled their squad this season after one of their worst finishes last year.
“It is nice to come back to the franchise that I am familiar with. Three years in a row with different franchises is a little bit disruptive but I am excited to come back to Delhi and hopefully we can have similar success when I was here last time,” Taylor told reporters on Friday.“Delhi Daredevils is one of my favourite team.”
Taylor admitted that getting the team composition right would be tough but backed the youngsters in the side to come good. “It is good to start working with Gary (Kirsten), he has been amazing to work with and Kevin (Pietersen) has been good around the group too,” he said.
“The squad doesn’t have a lot of big names which is a good thing. I am excited to see how the youngsters perform. But getting the composition right will be difficult as we have players who can play a lot of different roles.”
Despite Daredevils having a relatively inexperienced pace battery comprising Wayne Parnell, Mohammad Shami and Rahul Shukla, Taylor insisted that fast bowling was their “strength”. “You can buy a big player but he might be injured, fast bowling is very hard on the body. We have bowlers like Rahul Shukla and Jimmy Neesham , all are upcoming players.
“In spin bowling, we have Shahbaz Nadeem, JP Duminy and Rahul Sharma. Rahul specially has played a lot of T20 for India, for Pune (Warriors) he did very well. The team will expect them to take wickets in the middle overs.”
An explosive batsman in the shorter format, Taylor turned a new corner last year with his performance in Test cricket. He hoped to carry his form into IPL, where he confessed he would like to bat at No 4 or 5. He even had inputs to share on the pitches in UAE, where the first leg of the tournament would be played, as the Black Caps had trained in Abu Dhabi before going for the T20 World Cup.
“I am happy with my form in New Zealand summer and World T20. In T20 you can express your skills and have a lot of fun. The conditions are going to be similar in UAE. When we went, the practice wickets were a little bit worn out but they had a month or so to grow bit of grass, so it will be fun.”