The Zimbabwean captain/keeper Brendan Taylor has been likened to his legendary compatriot, Andy Flower, after his recent back to back centuries (171 & 102*) against Bangladesh in the first test of the current series between the two countries.
What makes this feat stand out is that both innings helped his team seal the victory, and that it was the first time this has been accomplished on home soil. The two centuries Andy Flower scored (142 & 199*) during that test versus South Africa was for a losing cause, but it established Flower as a test legend in cricket history. It showed the world that he had the temperament and class to take on any bowling attack in the world, in a team who which has never really found its feet in the cricketing arena.
Comparisons are also made in their ability as wicket keepers where Flower made 151 catches and 9 stumpings, where as the new kid on the block only has 17. Obviously it’s ridiculous to compare stats of a player who has already finished his career whilst the other is just starting out. What it does give Taylor however is a target, something to work towards, an incentive to help him improve his game and reach new heights.
Flower went on to have a very successful career after his playing days came to an end. While cricket in Zimababwe has suffered over the years they have still managed to grow local talent and offer them contracts. The sad part really is that these talented players have to support themselves and sometimes their families on these low wage contracts, where as other international cricketers get to participate in global spectacles and get huge contracts for shorter periods of play.
One has got to admire the struggles that these players face just to get recognition from the ICC and cricket fans world wide. As captains of their teams Flower and Taylor both have carried and is carrying extra responsibility in keeping their players focussed and part of the Zimbabwean cricket. Players like Brendan Taylor are inspirations for youngsters in a country where the development programmes are not as well funded and structured as top tier cricketing nations. They have learned to make due with what they have, and it is this scrap-for-survival instinct that make this team a dangerous one. A team who has nothing to lose and much to gain is usually a successful one, and like Flower did in the past I am sure Taylor will do in the future.