Mark Taylor (cricketer)

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Mark Taylor (cricketer) : biography

27 October 1964 –

Against New Zealand in 1993–94, Taylor made 64 and 142 not out in the First Test at Perth, which ended in a draw. He then scored 27 and 53 as Australia won the next two Tests by an innings, totalling 286 runs at 95.33 in three Tests as Australia won 2–0. In the rain-affected Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Taylor played his 50th Test and celebrated with 170 against South Africa, the first Test between the two countries since 1970.Perry (1999), p. 177. This made him the first batsman to score centuries on Test debut against four countries. In addition, he passed 4,000 Test runs during the innings. Taylor had scored more than 1,000 Test runs for the calendar year, ending with 1106 runs Taylor scored 62 in the Third Test, his only other half-century for the series, which he ended with 304 runs at 60.80.

On the reciprocal tour of South Africa at the end of the season, Taylor missed a Test because of injury for the only time in his career. Matthew Hayden filled in for the First Test in Johannesburg, which Australia lost.Perry (1999), pp. 185–187. On his return for the Second Test at Cape Town, he scored 70 and ended the series with 97 runs at 24.25. Both series were drawn 1–1.Perry, p. 337.

Captaincy

After the retirement of Allan Border, Taylor was appointed captain.

Frequently omitted from the ODI team due to slow scoring, Taylor missed the finals of the ODI series in Australia against South Africa. On the tour of South Africa, he missed three consecutive ODIs when tour selectors and fellow players Ian Healy and Steve Waugh voted him off the team. In all, Taylor had only played in 11 of Australia’s 19 ODIs for the season, scoring 281 runs at 25.55. Taylor requested an extended trial as opener for the ODI side to help consolidate his captaincy of both teams.Piesse, p. 21.

Taylor started his ODI captaincy with two tournaments in Sharjah and Sri Lanka. Australia missed the finals in both tournaments, winning three of their six matches. After scoring 68* to guide his team to a nine-wicket win in the first match against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, Taylor’s form tapered off, scoring only 64 more runs to end the two tournaments with a total of 132 runs at 33.00.

His first task was a tour of Pakistan in 1994, where Australia had not won a Test since the 1959.Piesse, p. 25. To make matters worse, Australia’s first-choice pace pairing of Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes missed the tour due to injury.Perry (1999), p. 199. The First Test at Karachi was a personal disaster for Taylor as he scored a pair, the first player in Test history to do so on his captaincy debut.Piesse, p. 26. Paceman Glenn McGrath then broke down in the middle of the match.Perry (1999), p. 202. Australia was in the box seat with Pakistan needing 56 runs with one wicket in hand,Perry (1999), p. 203. but lost by one wicket after Ian Healy missed a stumping opportunity and the ball went for the winning runs. Recovering to score 69 in the Second Test at Rawalpindi, Taylor forced Pakistan to follow on after taking a 261-run lead. However, he dropped Pakistan captain Salim Malik when he was on 20.Perry (1999), p. 205. Malik went on to make 237 as Pakistan made 537 and saved the Test.Perry (1999), p. 206.Piesse, p. 29. Australia again took a first innings lead in the Third Test,Piesse, p. 224. but could not force a result, as Malik scored another second innings century to ensure safety and a 1–0 series win.Perry (1999), p. 211. Taylor ended the series with 106 runs at 26.50. Australia fared better in the ODI triangular tournament, winning five of their six matches. Taylor scored 56 in the final as Australia beat Pakistan by 64 runs to end the tournament with 193 runs at 32.16.

Beginning the 1994–95 season with 150 for NSW in a tour match against the England,Piesse, p. 39. Taylor followed up with 59 in an opening stand of 97 as Australia made 426 in the first innings to take the initiative in the First Test in Brisbane.Perry (1999), p. 214. Australia amassed a 259-run first innings lead, but Taylor, mindful of the Test match at Rawalpindi, became the first Australian captain since 1977–78 to not enforce the follow-on. Although heavily criticised as a conservative decision, Australia still won the match by 184 runs, with Taylor adding 58 in the second innings.Piesse, pp. 41–43. Having scored the first win of his Test captaincy, Taylor led his team to a 295-run win in the Second Test.