Cricket / Batsman

Mark Taylor


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Mark was test opening batsman from 1988 to 1999, as well as captain from 1994 to 1999, succeeding Allan Border. His predominant fielding position was first slip. He was widely regarded as an instrumental component in Australia's rise to Test cricket dominance, and his captaincy was regarded as adventurous and highly effective. In 104 Test matches, he scored 7,525 runs with a batting average of 43.49, including 19 centuries and 40 fifties. in 1998, Taylor led his team to Pakistan, where a convincing win in the First Test at Rawalpindi by an innings and 99 runs was Australia's first Test victory in the country for 39 years.

In the Second Test at Peshawar, Taylor played the longest innings of his career. He batted two days to amass 334 not out, equalling Sir Donald Bradman's Australian record set in 1930. In temperatures above 32oC, Taylor survived two dropped catches before he had reached 25 and scored slowly on the first day. He shared a 206-run partnership with Justin Langer. The next day, he added 103 runs in a morning session extended from two to three hours. After the tea interval, he discarded his helmet in favour of a white sun hat, to deal with the extreme heat. He passed 311, eclipsing Bob Simpson's record score by an Australian captain. In the final over, Taylor equalled Bradman's Australian Test record when a shot to midwicket was barely stopped by Ijaz Ahmed, which reduced the scoring opportunity to a single run. At the end of the day's play, Taylor was encouraged by the media, the public and his teammates to attempt to break Brian Lara's world record score of 375. An unusually large crowd turned out the following day in anticipation. However, Taylor declared the innings closed, opting to share the record with Bradman, and making the team's chances of winning the game paramount. He was widely praised for this decision!