Auckland: Brendan Taylor's voice wasn't choked with emotion but the Zimbabwean was in a pensive mood after playing in his last match as an international cricketer, admitting that he would miss the "red jersey and the camaraderie" that he enjoyed over the years at the top level.
Though he's scored a fine century, Taylor's farewell international game ended in a six-wicket defeat by India in the cricket World Cup here on Saturday.
Asked as to what he will miss the most, Taylor instantly said, "Well, to be wearing this red shirt of mine. I guess it's every cricketer's dream to put on their country's shirt.
That's why we play the sport. We're lucky and privileged enough to do that. I will certainly miss that."
On an emotional note, he said, "I'll miss my teammates, the camaraderie that we have amongst each other, the good and bad times that we went through. That's all part of it. I've had it for 11 years and I wouldn't change that for anything.
It's been some special times through good and bad."
Taylor said that he was touched by the gesture of some of the Indian players, who walked all the way from their fielding positions to congratulate him on his brilliant knock of 138 in his last international innings.
"Yeah, it was nice from some of the Indian guys, Shikhar, Virat and Suresh came up to me. That really was quite touching for me. They didn't have to do that. They're established players, and that was a very nice touch that they did, and then obviously my teammates just wished me well and thanked me for the little bit that I've contributed.
"But it's all been with them, and it's been enjoyable doing it with them. It was pretty tough to swallow that, but it was a good feeling in a way," Taylor said.
Taylor also thanked the 30,000-odd spectators present at the Eden Park, who gave him a standing ovation once his farewell knock came to an end. He was thankful even more as more than 95 percent were Indian supporters.
"Thank you. It's just a testament to their cricket knowledge. I think they just appreciate good cricket and they saw two teams playing some pretty entertaining stuff today.
Obviously, we knew who they were supporting, but they clapped when we put on a decent show.
"That was always nice to see. I was very overwhelmed the way they responded, and I'm very appreciative for that," he said.
Asked as to what exactly has been his feeling now that his international career was over, Taylor said, "There's definitely a sense of sadness. There's a sense of disappointment in the way we've gone about this tournament, sad in a way that I'm leaving my teammates, I'm leaving my home country for a number of years.
"That's always going to be difficult to comprehend. But I guess life goes on. You're posed with difficult challenges and choices, but it's a positive one that I've taken, and I'm looking forward to it.
"It's going to be a good ride, and hopefully I can have some fairly decent success over there and try and make myself a better cricketer for it."
Taylor paid compliments to the Indian team, terming it an "incredible unit".
"They've been exceptional. Obviously to finish top of their log (table), I don't think they've had too many close encounters. They've been pretty convincing in their victories.
They've been playing a lot of cricket, so they've got some good momentum on their side.
"I think they'll look at it as a one game at a time now, and their main focus will obviously be the quarterfinals and being atop their log.
"They certainly have got the players to go all the way and win it. They've won it before, so they know what that feels like," Taylor said.
Taylor admitted that it was probably his best ODI innings but at the same time couldn't enjoy it as Zimbabwe lost the match.
"I think so (on best ODI innings). But if you're not going to win, if you're going to get a hundred and not win, then it doesn't feel so sweet. But I guess a hundred in a World Cup is always pretty special.
"But yeah, I think in terms of their bowling attack and what they provide, they made it very difficult. So to get through the difficult periods and push on and get a hundred, that was a great feeling. It's definitely up there, but unfortunately it's still another losing cause," the stand-in captain lamented.
Taylor said that a total in excess of 320 might have been better and talked about the catches that they dropped.
"The wicket was a little bit two-paced in the morning along with some very good bowling, but we were heading for 310, 320, maybe 330, and again, that's been the way it's gone for us throughout the tournament, finding some momentum and then collapsing. That's been very disappointing for us.
"Also we've dropped far too many catches, probably double more than the second most drops from any other team. I thought obviously that Suresh Raina drop was crucial.
"Yes, they can bat pretty deep with Jadeja and Ashwin, but that could have been a little bit more pressure on MS, and who knows what could have happened."