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Why Ross Taylor is the undisputed boss at No.4 in ODIs

After failing to see his side home in the last two T20Is where they were clean swept 5-0 by India, experienced Ross Taylor finally made sure New Zealand do not botch up another match in Hamilton on Wednesday. Playing in his 229th ODI, Ross Taylor remained stayed alive at the crease till the end and scored his 21st international hundred ((84-ball 109) in the format to help New Zealand gun down 348 without any hiccups to go 1-0 up in the 3-match series.

Ross Taylor himself acknowledged after New Zealand’s highest successful chase that he felt great taking his side over the line after failing to do so thrice in the T20I series. “It was nice to be there at the end after I got out thrice towards the end in the T20 series,” Taylor said after receiving the Man of the Match award.

In the 4th T20I at Wellington, victory was in sight of New Zealand as they needed seven runs off six balls with Ross Taylor at the strike but shockingly, the hosts lost four wickets in the space of six balls to force 2nd successive Super Over in the series and suffer their 2nd successive Super Over defeat. Playing in his 100th T20I in the 5th and final T20I at Mount Maunganui, Taylor scored a fifty but failed to finish it off.

However, with no fear of Super Over in the ODI opener, Taylor rose to the occasion and played a blinder to score his 19th century while playing at No.4 batting position in the ODIs. The 35-year-old has the most number of hundreds in 50-over internationals batting at that position.

Most 100s batting at No.4 position in ODIs

19: Ross Taylor (NZ)
15: AB de Villiers (SA)
10: Aravinda de Silva (SL)
9: Mahela Jayawardene (SL)

But it wasn’t the first time that Taylor featured in New Zealand’s one of the biggest ODI chases. Taylor has starred in all the four biggest chases for the Kiwis and has also scored three hundreds in them. Moreover, since 2014, Taylor has scored a century on five occasions in successful chases batting at No. 4 or lower. And here’s why Taylor is regarded as one of the finest in ODIs because no other batsman has even scored more than 2 hundreds in successful chases at those positions in this duration.

Highest targets successfully chased by New Zealand in ODIs:

348 v India, Hamilton, 2020*, Taylor 109*
347 v Australia, Hamilton, 2007, Taylor 11
337 v Australia, Auckland, 2007, Taylor 117
336 v England, Dunedin, 2018, Taylor 181*

Seeing his average in the last 3 years, Ross Taylor is second best–only after swashbuckling India batsman Virat Kohli- among all the cricketers in the world. Taylor averages 67.76 in 50 innings between 2017-20 whereas Kohli has the best average of 78.61 in 66 innings. Taylor’s average is also better than that of hitman Rohit Sharma (65.31 in 70 innings). The Kiwi veteran has also scored the fourth-highest number of runs (2643) in ODIs in the same period. Run machine Virat Kohli leads the charts there as well with 4088 runs whereas Rohit stands 2nd with 3984 runs.

Also Read | Kuldeep Yadav’s 2 for 84 3rd most expensive ODI spell by an Indian spinner

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