By George, Taylor has the upper hand
As the Kiwi batting order rapidly decomposed in the first innings against South Africa at Cape Town on Wednesday, I began to think of Ross Taylor and pictured him in the form of a short, stocky, bald New Yorker.
If the current relationship between the former captain and New Zealand Cricket were an episode of Seinfeld, Taylor would now definitely be the holder of 'hand' in the same style as George Costanza's famous showing of one-upmanship from the glorious 1990s.
Remember the juicy fruits of power that were bestowed upon Jerry Seinfeld's BFF when he snivelled his way to the upper hand in his relationship, allowing him to call the shots and bargain with the squeeze in his favour?
Without any snivelling whatsoever, Ross Taylor now officially finds himself in that position.
The main difference between the two situations is that Taylor sits high thanks to the classy manner in which he handled his mistreatment, as well as the now-desperate requirement for his abilities.
Plus Taylor has hair and is likeable, whereas Costanza is a scheming pest and a fictional character.
Now with the Black Caps' batting showing the resistance of a dandelion against a snarling Proteas attack, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) administration desperate for immediate pain relief, and one world class batsman back at home sunning himself on the beach in full health, it's not hard to join the dots.
That's right. It's now officially Advantage Taylor, which means those on the opposite side of the ledger with a distinct lack of 'hand' should commence their grovelling, caboose kissing, or even better, resigning and restructuring very soon.
Let's be honest. Do they really have any other option?
Taylor certainly isn't the overnight grout that is going to patch the many holes in the Black Caps' top order, but it's a start at least. One can only hope that the NZC board has enough problem-solving grey matter to realise that the only thing they could do to top the short-sighted stupidity of driving the 43-test veteran out of the team would be to stand by and watch it embarrassingly perish while his capabilities gather dust in a tropical location.
Assuming they aren't total pillocks it would mean the classy right-hander would just have to resist the temptation of doing the devious Costanza proud by milking the pandering for all it's worth.
Letting phone calls from the NZC offices ring out a few times, conveniently forgetting to reply to the text messages of pleading and apologies, and maybe even blocking coach Mike Hesson on Twitter and de-friending CEO David White on Facebook, just to make them sweat for a few days, would be an esteem-boosting privilege few would begrudge Taylor.
However, you sense that playing rock-solid hardball by acting completely aloof and disinterested to these offers as his team mates suffer, saying he may not be able to make the trip because he's learning French/watching a series of Downton Abbey/building a castle out of paddle pop sticks, is not in the make-up of the man.
Which means that Hesson, White and the other 'visionaries' of New Zealand cricket should stop sitting on their (lack of) hands and start the peace process pronto, or risk more catastrophic test match caving and teeth-gnashing amongst the Black Cap faithful.
You don't want to see Martin Crowe set any more apparel ablaze now, do you?
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