Then there were none.
Ross Taylor had been the only New Zealander logging regular game-time in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition, until today when he was omitted from the Pune team for their match against Hyderabad.
The former New Zealand captain paid the price for a lacklustre run with the bat and was dropped, despite captaining Pune to a win against the Stephen Fleming-coached Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday.
Taylor has scored just 63 runs from five innings, at an average of 12.60 and an equally poor strike rate of 82.
Australians Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh had done well enough to retain their spots, meaning it came down to a choice between Taylor and the team’s captain Angelo Mathews, who missed the Chennai match because of his government’s edict that Sri Lankan players not turn out in Chennai due to security threats in the region.
As the team’s regular captain Mathews got the nod to return, though Taylor’s form certainly didn’t make it a difficult choice for Pune management.
In his absence, Pune were rolled by Hyderabad at home this morning to drop to eighth in the nine-team league, with two wins and four losses. The hosts restricted Hyderabad to 119-8 from 20 overs but fell 11 runs short, dismissed for 108 in exactly 19 overs as they lost their last six wickets for seven runs. Legspinner Amit Mishra finished the innings off with a hat-trick.
In the other match today, John Wright’s Mumbai Indians were hammered by Rajasthan, who posted 179-3 from 20 overs then skittled the star-studded Mumbai side, captained by Ricky Ponting, for just 92 in 18.2 overs.
Wright’s team are fourth with three wins and two losses, but have a game in hand over two of the teams above them.
As for the other New Zealanders, Jacob Oram has played one match for Mumbai, but there has been no game time for James Franklin, Daniel Vettori, Nathan and Brendon McCullum in their respective teams.
– © Fairfax NZ News