Teary Taylor attains late mentor's goal

Rob Forsaith
Ross Taylor became New Zealand's top Test run-scorer at the SCG against Australia

Ross Taylor has broken down in tears after becoming New Zealand's all-time leading Test run-scorer, a goal that late mentor Martin Crowe urged him to strive for prior to debuting in 2007.

Taylor ticked past Stephen Fleming's mark of 7172 Test runs as NZ crashed to a 279-run defeat at the SCG on Monday.

The 35-year-old attempted to put the momentous nature of the milestone into words while speaking to reporters but became overcome with emotion and struggled to regain composure.

Crowe, who now ranks fifth on NZ's list of run-scorers, died in 2016 of cancer at the age of 53.

"My goal was to play one Test," Taylor said.

"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.

"To be honest I didn't believe him, but I'd have loved for him to be here and help celebrate."

The former skipper, who started his career as a white-ball specialist, reflected on how Crowe helped him become a Test batsman.

"I'd had a pretty decent one-day career and only scored three or four first-class hundreds, Twenty20 was just coming through," Taylor said.

"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.

"I've had some amazing people help me out along the way - coaches and teachers and friends, so I guess it's a little thank you to them."

Taylor, whose achievement was one of few highlights for the Black Caps during a 3-0 series loss to Australia, was presented with a bottle of Penfolds in the SCG rooms on Monday.

Fleming was one of many former teammates to send through their congratulations.

"I got a lovely message from Flem," Taylor said.

"It's always a little bit of mixed emotions after (losing) the series and then taking it off someone with the status that he has in New Zealand cricket.

"Records are meant to be broken and hopefully I can give Kane (Williamson) something to chase, then he can set the bar high for the next person."