Mark Taylor (cricketer) : biography
During the 1991–92 Australian season, Taylor batted consistently in a 4–0 series victory over India. He scored 94 and 35* in a ten-wicket win at Brisbane. He scored half-centuries in each of the next two Tests before striking 100 in the second innings of the Fourth Test at Adelaide. It helped Australia to wipe out a first innings deficit of 80 and set up a winning target.Perry (1999), p. 60. His opening partner Marsh was dropped for the Fifth Test, so the selectors elevated Taylor to the vice-captaincy of the team. Over the next twelve months, a number of players were tried as Taylor’s opening partner. Taylor struggled in his first match with new partner Wayne B. Phillips,Perry (1999), pp. 61–62. scoring two and 16. Nevertheless, he had scored 422 runs at 46.89. Taylor continued to be overlooked by the selectors in the shorter version of the game, missing selection for all of the season’s triangular tournament. He was selected for the squad for the 1992 Cricket World Cup held on home soil, and after Australia lost its first two matches, Taylor was recalled for his first ODI in 12 months. He made 13 as Australia beat India by one run, but scored his first ODI duck in the next match as England won by eight wickets. He was dropped for the remainder of the tournament.
On the 1992 tour of Sri Lanka, Taylor struggled in scoring 148 runs at 24.67. After scoring 42 and 43 in Australia’s win in the First Test, Taylor failed to again pass 30. With new opening partner Tom Moody also struggling with 71 runs at 11.83, Australia frequently struggled at the top of their innings.Perry (1999), pp. 70–83. He played in all three ODIs, scoring 138 runs at 46.00. His 94 in the first match was his highest score in ODIs to that point.
Against the West Indies in 1992–93, Taylor was now opening alongside David BoonPerry, pp. 106–108. with Moody having been dropped.Perry (1999), p. 88. Taylor was ineffective and failed to pass fifty in the first four Tests. After Australia failed by one run to win the Fourth Test and thus the series, Taylor was dropped for the deciding Test at Perth,Piesse, p. 20. having failed to make double figures in either innings. In his absence, Australia lost by an innings in three days and conceded the series 1–2.Perry (1999), pp. 108–110. He had scored 170 runs at 24.29 for the series. However, he played all of Australia’s ten ODIs, scoring 286 runs at 28.60 with two half-centuries.
Taylor and Slater
As a result of the innings defeat in Perth, Taylor was immediately recalled for the tour of New Zealand, where he scored 82 in the First Test at Christchurch to help Australia to an innings victory.Perry (1999), p. 112. He then scored 50 in the drawn Second Test and bowled for the first time at Test level, taking 0/15. He failed to pass 20 in the Third Test and ended the series with 148 runs at 37.00 as the home side squared the series. Australia then played five ODIs in New Zealand before starting the England tour with three more. Taylor played in all eight, scoring 307 runs at 38.38 with four half-centuries.
The problem of finding him a long-term partner was solved on the tour of England that followed. NSW batsman Michael Slater, who also grew up in Wagga Wagga, made his debut in the First Test of the 1993 Ashes series.Perry (1999), p. 126. In the First Test at Old Trafford, Taylor made 124 after an opening partnership of 128, as Australia managed only 289 after being sent in. Australia managed to scrape out a lead of 79,Perry (1999), p. 129. before going on to a 179-run win.
This was followed by a stand of 260 at Lord’s in the Second Test, with Taylor making 111. In the process, he passed 1000 Test runs against England and the partnership broke the Ashes partnership record at Lord’s, which had been set by Bill Woodfull and Don Bradman in 1930.Perry (1999), p. 134. The partnership laid the platform for Australia’s total of 4/632, as the tourists proceeded to an innings victory.
His scoring was more sedate in the remaining Tests as Australia won 4–1, and he finished with 428 runs at 42.80. He passed 30 only once more, with 70 in the first innings of the Sixth Test at The Oval.