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Jesse Ryder would have won NZ a World Cup, say Cricinfo commentators

Former Black Cap Jesse Ryder could have been the missing piece in the jigsaw for a first Cricket World Cup victory, according to ESPN Cricinfo's commentators.

Jesse Ryder against South Africa Source: Photosport

Ryder, now 35, played 18 Tests, 48 ODIs and 22 T20 Internationals for New Zealand. Despite his immense talent, indiscipline and a spate of off-field incidents saw Ryder's international career come to an abrupt end, last playing for the Black Caps in January 2014.

Ryder was a hard hitting batsman, a more than handy option with the ball, as well as a deceptively athletic fielder, more than capable of winning matches single handedly, in any form of the game.

Ryder earned unanimous agreement from the three Cricinfo writers during a debate last night around players who didn't live up to their potential.

"Ryder just had such an instinctive feel for the game, whichever format he was playing," said Andrew Fidel Fernando.

"They would have converted one of their two World Cup finals into a win if Ryder was in the team.

"I don't blame the people who kicked Ryder out, really, because he's been given chances by many coaches in various continents - both domestic and international - and he's not managed to rein his behaviour in.

"But if Ryder had managed to improve the behaviour to just within that line, I think we would think of New Zealand as one of the great teams of the last decade, instead of just a very good one."

Another commentator, Sidarth Monga, also gave an insight into Ryder's talent compared with Ross Taylor, who has gone on to become New Zealand's leading run scorer in Tests and ODIs, as well as become the first player anywhere to play 100 international matches in all three forms of the game.

"Ross Taylor and Ryder were both discovered together. Neither came from a privileged background, but Taylor's privilege was that he had his act together," Monga said.

"Mark Greatbatch, one of their earlier coaches, I remember, told me how Ryder was more skilled but Taylor was more rounded as a person. Ryder would throw up in the bin at the nets, Taylor would come home with a bottle of wine."

Osman Samiuddin added that Ryder's presence would have given the Black Caps the bit of grit they needed to avoid the tag of the "nice guys" in world cricket.

"New Zealand needed Ryder in their team to shed themselves of the 'nicest guys in cricket' tag. I mean, yeah, of course, runs and stuff, but they need a guy in that side who does things like that," he said.