Ross Taylor can expect his captaincy to undergo an almost forensic investigation when he and his New Zealand team return from the tour of Sri Lanka.
New Zealand's abysmal form over the past couple of months has thrown Taylor's leadership into sharp relief, and NZC chairman Chris Moller has confirmed the issue will be up for discussion at board level during the upcoming review of the tour.
"Post this tour, the board will be having a meeting with (coach) Mike Hesson," said Moller.
"We'll be covering a whole range of matters, including the captaincy, and will make some decisions from there." Speaking to Radio Sport's Brendan Telfer, Moller said he didn't wish to speculate on any likely outcome, but promised a comprehensive review
"David White [CEO], John Buchanan [director of cricket] and Mike will do a full review of the tour; the board will cover that off and we'll make decisions from there."
Sources, speaking under condition of anonymity, say Taylor's style of captaincy has already come under the spotlight at team management level, in particular his manner of communication, and his reluctance to get alongside players individually.
However, none thought it likely Taylor would be relieved of the captaincy immediately, the consensus being he'd be persevered with until at least the end of the tour to South Africa, if not up to England's visit in February.
Taylor took over the full captaincy late last year, and in the ensuing 12 months presided over seven test defeats from 12 outings, including the past five in succession.
His ODI record also reads dismally: 12 losses from 18 completed games, while his T20 results are the only ones in credit - six wins, two ties and four losses. If Taylor was to be discarded, the hot favourite to replace him is Brendon McCullum.
Meanwhile, New Zealand batting great Martin Crowe, just seconded by NZC as a talent scout, has penned an open letter to the beleaguered Black Caps batsmen on the Cricinfo website.
Crowe gives technical and mental tips to each of the top six and sums up: "Overall, lads, we just want a bit of individual spirit and some internal fortitude over a reasonable period at the crease. Deep down I do hope you are thinking of churning out a ton. I know there is no greater feeling as a batsman. To bat six hours in a test is better than sex.
"Mostly I just want you to decide on who and what you are and what you know, what you bring to international cricket, what you want to give for your country. From the outside, you look dispirited, disjointed and disoriented.
"Wrongly, you are looking outside for the answers. Look within, look in the mirror and ask yourself to stand up and be the men you are. Look within, be honest, strip away the rubbish and focus on what's important and what's really and essentially you."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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