A captain leading by example, Brendan Taylor took a page or two out of Andy Flower’s book. A very composed player of the ball, a sound wicket-keeper, this terrific player gave the fans hope for Zimbabwe and once again the nation was a force to be reckoned with in International Cricket.
In 2011, he became the first Zimbabwean batsman to hit back-to-back One-Day International centuries (128 not out and 107 not out), achieved against New Zealand in October. He fast-tracked into the Zimbabwe national team against Sri Lanka in 03-04 at the age of 18 after the withdrawal of the so-called rebel players, shot to prominence at Cape Town on September 12, 2007, when his ice-cool 60 not out carried Zimbabwe to an incredible five-wicket win over Australia in the ICC World Twenty20.
Taylor was back where he began as an opening batsman, having briefly moved down the order, and he marshalled a tense run-chase with the sort of sang froid that few had ever credited him with. It was not the first time he has displayed a calm head in a pressurised situation, however. In August 2006 he smoked 17 runs from the last over of a run chase – including a six to win off the last ball when five were needed – to give Zimbabwe a 2-1 lead in the ODI series against Bangladesh. Taylor has always had the ability to build an innings, but developed a penchant for being dismissed while trying to play too aggressively.
Still a long way from retiring, if he plays his cards right and keep a cool head, Brendan Taylor is on his way to becoming one of the best batsmen ever produced in Zimbabwe statistically.