Wellington – Ross Taylor was dumped as captain of the New Zealand cricket team in favour of Brendon McCullum Friday and will sit out the Black Caps' upcoming tour of South Africa, officials said.
Taylor, 28, was axed after rejecting an offer to remain Test skipper while handing limited overs duties to McCullum, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said.
White denied coach Mike Hesson had lost faith in Taylor's captaincy after a string of poor results since taking over in June 2011, but said he was concerned the skipper's duties were affecting his batting.
“He felt it would be better for Ross to focus on his game,” White told reporters. “It was felt that the workload for a young captain was a lot.”
Despite his team's woes, Taylor has been New Zealand's best batsman in recent Tests, averaging 43.57, and his absence will be sorely felt against South Africa, who top the Test rankings while New Zealand are placed eighth.
White said Taylor would take a break from cricket but was expected to be available for the home series against England beginning in February.
Opener McCullum, 31, has acted as captain in one-day internationals and Twenty20s but not at Test level.
New Zealand lost seven of 13 Tests under Taylor's captaincy, winning four and drawing two.
Two of the wins were against lowly Zimbabwe, with the highlights of his tenure a rare Test victory over Australia in Hobart in December last year and a series-levelling second Test victory over Sri Lanka in Colombo last month.
Over the same period, the Black Caps have lost one-day series to South Africa, the West Indies and Sri Lanka, with their sole series win against Zimbabwe. – Sapa-AFP