Ross Taylor's emotional tribute to late great mentor

Ross Taylor broke down during a press conference after he paid tribute to the late great Martin Crowe after he took over as New Zealand’s highest ever run-scorer.

Taylor broke the record on the Fourth Day of the Third Test against Australia overtaking Stephen Fleming’s 7,171 runs.

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But Taylor paid tribute to Crowe, who died in 2016, after revealing his mentor was his sounding board when he feared he might never play Test cricket.

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.

Ross Taylor broke down as he paid tribute to his late mentor Martin Crowe. (Image: Fox Sports)

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."

‘I’d seek Martin’s help’: Taylor

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."

With AAP