Ross Taylor became New Zealand’s leading run-scorer in red-ball cricket during the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday, January 6. In an emotional press conference, he broke down in remembrance of his mentor, Martin Crowe, who had pushed him towards the milestone early in his career.
Taylor, who burst on to the scene primarily as a limited-overs batsman, did not have big targets in Test cricket initially. Speaking after the record, Taylor revealed that he had looked at himself as a one-day player, and was happy to play “just one Test” for New Zealand. However, Crowe encouraged him to aim bigger, and one of the goals he had laid out for Taylor was to become New Zealand’s leading run-scorer in Tests.
“My goal was to play one Test match. I guess it’s an emotional time because my mentor Martin Crowe, that was one of the goals he put down for me was to be New Zealand’s highest Test run-scorer,” Taylor told reporters. “To be honest, I didn’t believe him, but I’d have loved for him to be here and help celebrate.
Ross Taylor has scored more Test runs than any other New Zealander in the history of the game.https://t.co/xRC64MYlly
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 6, 2020
“When I first played for New Zealand, I’d had a pretty decent one-day career and only scored three or four first-class hundreds and Twenty20 was just coming through.
“I always thought I was good enough to play one-day cricket, but Test cricket was something I was never quite sure if I was good enough. That’s why I’d seek Martin’s help to become a better player than the raw, gay abandon player that I was as a youngster.”
New Zealand suffered a 279-run loss in Sydney to give Australia a 3-0 series win, but Taylor’s record was a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable display from the Black Caps. Scoring a 20-ball 22, the right-hander went past Stephen Fleming’s career tally of 7172 Test runs to lead the charts.
“I got a lovely message from Flem before, so it’s always a little bit mixed emotions after the series and then taking it off someone with the status that he has in New Zealand Cricket,” Taylor said.
“Records are meant to be broken and, hopefully, I can give Kane Williamson something to chase and then he can set the bar high for the next person to come along.”