Hesson and McCullum are both hoping that Taylor decides to return soon
New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum has been named as the national team’s new captain across all three formats after Ross Taylor refused to accept a situation where he would lead the Test side in a split-captaincy scenario.
Taylor made himself unavailable for the South Africa series and all his team-mates are hoping that he will return when England tour the country February.
McCullum’s inauguration as captain came during a press conference, where New Zealand Cricket CEO David White announced that he regretted Taylor’s decision not to accept the proposal the board had placed before him.
McCullum has previously led New Zealand in eight ODIs and 12 Twenty20 Internationals, but will become the country’s 28th Test captain.
There has been a lot of ongoing speculation about Taylor’s future in the national side after relations between him and head coach Mike Hesson reached an all-time low during the team’s 1-1 draw against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand lost a Test series to South Africa, the West Indies and India before their draw in Sri Lanka, and to make matters worse, they have slipped behind Bangladesh to ninth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI team rankings.
During the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, New Zealand were dumped out in the super eights after losing a heart-breaking super over bout against the West Indies.
It was after the ICC World Twenty20 and tours to India and Sri Lanka that Hesson suggested splitting up the captaincy.
“Mike Hesson proposed a split captaincy that was endorsed by me as CEO and agreed by the board,” White said. “The original recommendation was for Ross Taylor to be retained as Test captain and Brendon McCullum to be short-form captain. We regret that Ross Taylor has declined the opportunity, therefore Brendon McCullum has been appointed as Black Caps captain for all three forms of the game.
“I met with Ross … for about three hours yesterday and we considered a number of different options. One of them was … for him to go to South Africa and even just play the Test matches if he wanted to do that. But he thought about it long and hard and he said that he would like a break and to spend time with his family and we’ve agreed with that and we respect that. It’s not ideal and we would be a stronger team with Ross Taylor in it.”
Despite the captaincy changing hands, White noted that Taylor had not lost the respect of his team-mates.
“I don’t believe he lost the dressing room,” White said. “He is well respected.”
Hesson stated that Taylor was a huge asset to the national team, but added that he was concerned about the enormous amount of pressure Taylor has been under since becoming captain across all three formats.
The New Zealand head coach also pointed out that he believes McCullum is the best man to be leading the limited overs squads.
“Brendon certainly reads the one-day game well and is very adaptable and changes quickly,” Hesson said. “The one-day game and the T20 game move very quickly. I think Brendon McCullum has attributes to really add value to our team in that area.
“Split captaincy is something that works and with the high volume of cricket around the world at the moment, for one person to take on all three forms of the game is an extremely difficult task. It’s very difficult for anybody to be up to that.
“We play ten months of the year. In terms of planning from series to series it’s extremely difficult, to look after your own game and worry about that of the team. Therefore my recommendation was for Ross to stay on as Test captain and focus on that, and also focus on his batting in all three forms, and for Brendon to come in as leader of the one-day and T20 squads.”