The making of master batsman Ross Taylor…

Pete's Write Place

 Ross Taylor wasn't tongue-tied after posting his 16th test century in Hamilton. Photo / Photosport

by Dylan Cleaver

A young Ross Taylor always showed plenty of promise when first mentored by Dermot Payton and now passes on his knowledge to Kane Williamson. Photo / Wairarapa Archive
A young Ross Taylor always showed plenty of promise when first mentored by Dermot Payton and now passes on his knowledge to Kane Williamson. Photo / Wairarapa Archive

Anybody who chanced upon the scene would have noted the incongruity.

There was Dermot Hurslton Payton, the Wairarapa farming scion, standing on a chair feeding balls into a bowling machine. At the other end, hunched over his bat, in the dead of the midwinter mid-1990s night, was a Samoan kid from the side of town where kids learn to make the most of what they have.

And the sound. Payton, now a 71-year-old who has spent the best part of a life under the sun mentoring young cricketers when not tending his cattle, remembers the sound, like the crack of a whip, as the ball pinged…

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