New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has said that players from his country have benefited immensely by rubbing shoulders with the best in world cricket in the Indian Premier League.

“I have been fortunate to play for a few teams [in the IPL] and play with great players. I think there has been an aura around Australia, South Africa and a few of these teams. I think the IPL helped New Zealand cricket sort of bridge that gap a little bit,” said Taylor.

“Once you know these players, you are picking their brains and watching them train and that has helped New Zealand cricket immensely. Players who have played over there and [who will play in] years to come will benefit by rubbing shoulders with the best players in the world,” he added.

Taylor has been part of various IPL franchises including Pune Warriors [now defunct], Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Describing Sri Lanka as a tough place to play, Taylor, a veteran of 92 Tests, said he was looking forward to the two-Test series beginning in Galle from August 14.

“They know the conditions and play very well at home. They are also looking to compete well in the ICC Test Championship. Sri Lanka is genuinely a tough place to play cricket in,” Taylor said.

Taylor also said that with the advent of the ICC Test championships, there is now a context and meaning to every game and not just high-profile clashes like the Ashes.

“Obviously there are names and number on the back [of the jerseys, like in ODIs]. There is context and there is something at stake in every game. Someone mentioned to me the other day that you probably take note of other Test series a lot more now than you would have just following the big series like Ashes,” the right-handed batsman said.

After a heart-breaking loss in the World Cup final, the Kiwis are eager to return to international cricket.

“It is nice to get into a new format and it is exciting to play the Test Championship,” said Taylor. “Not only that, a few new players are coming into the Test squad, so they bring fresh vibes into the team and I am sure they are looking forward to get going in the hot and humid conditions of Sri Lanka.”