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The Rediff Special
Triumphant run Taylor-cut
May 04, 2005
- Mark Taylor led in 42 Tests, won 23, lost 11, drew 8
Australia's ascendancy in world cricket started under the captaincy of Mark Taylor. With the series victory in the West Indies in 1995, they announced themselves as the best in the world.
Taylor was regarded as one of the best captains of the modern era. He was also one of the best slip fielders of his time.
Opening the batting, he scored 7,525 runs in 104 Tests at 43.49. His finest moment in Test cricket was when he scored that unbeaten 334 against Pakistan in 1998, after a struggle for runs the previous year.
During his tenure, he lost only three series as captain -- in Pakistan in 1994/95, and in India in 1996/97 and 1997/98.
He evolved the theory of producing more result-oriented Test matches, and was brave enough to set challenging targets, sometimes even achievable. And to their credit, his bowlers mostly never let him down.
Taylor's captaincy record speaks volumes: 23 victories in 42 Tests, with only eight draws. Since taking over as Test captain after the retirement of Allan Border, in 1994, he won 11 out of 14 series.
He believed in being aggressive and producing results in Tests. Suddenly, scoring huge totals was not the only priority; scoring them quick was.
He bid goodbye to cricket in February 1999, handing over the reins of a world-beating team to Steve Waugh.