McCullum is hoping to see both Ryder and Taylor donning the national colours soon
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has revealed that he has been in contact with troubled batsman Jesse Ryder, who is expected to make his international return in the “not too distant future”, while his predecessor Ross Taylor has still refused to give any timetable on when he expects to make his comeback.
Taylor stepped down as captain after refusing to only be in charge of the Test side and has since taken a leave of absence from all forms of international cricket in order to spend more time with his family.
Meanwhile, Ryder is grabbing the attention of all the national selectors after having smashed yet another century for Wellington in a Plunket Shield match, with his most recent coming against Central Districts, where he scored 162 runs off 174 balls, smashing 20 boundaries and four sixes in the process.
Ryder himself took some time off in March last year to sort out some personal issues, but in July announced that he was fully committed to the sport and signed a year-long deal with Wellington.
“I’ve been in touch with Jesse,” McCullum said. “He’s going really well. I was really pleased he again scored a lot of runs in this game. He’s doing great at the moment and I’m sure he’ll be back in the not too distant future. It’s about Jesse getting out of first-class cricket in the next months [is] what he needs, and that’s the most important thing.
“Jesse is a world-class player and we’ve seen that already in his time in international cricket, but the circumstances are that Jesse is unavailable at the moment and that’s unfortunate.
“I guess you think of the person first and, once we get Jesse back down the track, we’ll know that we’ll get consistent long-term success from him rather than him coming back a little bit too early.”
Ryder last played for New Zealand in February last year against South Africa and noted that he did not want to rush his comeback.
“Not yet,” Ryder said when asked by Fairfax News if he was planning to don the national colours once again. “I’ve got things I want to work on. I’m still trying to be happy again and find a love for the game again and stay on that sort of path.
“I’ll reassess it with Aaron [Klee, his manager] and see where I’m at. The runs have been flowing and I reckon it’s probably the best I’m seeing the ball as well. I’m pretty happy with what’s happening. It’s easily my best form. I can’t complain, if you’re scoring runs you’re a happy batsman.”
McCullum also noted that New Zealand badly needed Taylor back in the side since he was a “world-class” batsman.
“He [Taylor] needs a bit of space at the moment,” McCullum added. “He’s going through a very tough time and my thoughts and the team’s thoughts are with him. It’s similar to Jesse. When he’s good and ready to come back into the team, it would be great to have him. Again, he’s obviously a world-class player and by far our best batsman as well.”