After almost a year of pallid displays, Ross Taylor rediscovered his appetite for runs towards the end of 2013. The home series against the West Indies and India saw the 30-year-old score with a consistency that has been seldom associated with him.

New Zealand faced the danger of losing this special talent forever when Taylor was stripped of captaincy unceremoniously in 2012. The Kiwis, though, need not fear anymore. Taylor is settled and content with the roles he plays for the national side; the calmness, he hopes, will be imported to the IPL as well.

Representing four different franchises in as many seasons (including Delhi Daredevils in 2012) has been disruptive, acknowledges Taylor, but returning to DD should make the journey easier henceforth thanks to his familiarity with the franchise.

No demands

While accepting his role as a senior batsman in the side, the Kiwi claims he is not seeking a far-reaching role within the team. “As a foreign player, you come and fit into the set-up. You don’t demand anything. I will just try to score some runs. That’s the opportunity I ask of the team.”

It’s a measure of the extent to which Taylor has resolved his differences with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that he speaks glowingly of it these days. The NZC had famously apologised to the middle-order batsman after he lost the captaincy.

When questioned on NZC’s preference to avoid scheduling any series during the IPL so that the players can be available for the entire tournament, Taylor was appreciative of the governing body’s efforts.

Praise for NZC

“NZC has done a very good job. The board knows that to keep the players representing NZ for long, they and the players have to give a little bit.

“They have been very proactive in letting the players play here. We don’t have the same player depth as some of the other countries. Giving the players the opportunity to play the IPL will hopefully benefit us and the board.”

Neesham's utility

Taylor will be accompanied by compatriot Jimmy Neesham in the franchise this season and he believes that the all-rounder could prove to be a valuable bowler at the death due to his variations.

Overall, he believes that DD’s quick bowling will be one of its strengths. Moreover, the ability of several players to play different roles should mean that skipper Kevin Pietersen and coach Gary Kirsten will have their task cut out in choosing the playing eleven, added Taylor.

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