“I’m sure he’d be happy.” So said Ross Taylor at the end of a day when he became New Zealand’s highest century-maker in Tests, drawing level with his captain Kane Williamson and his mentor, the late Martin Crowe. The “he” Taylor was referring to, visibly emotional in a TV interview, was Crowe, whom he credited – as he often does – for moulding him into the batsman he is.
“Hasn’t really sunk in,” Taylor said at the end-of-day press conference. “I thought about it [the record] a little bit last year, this year I haven’t really thought about it. At the start of my career, if you told me I’d get 17 Test hundreds, I would have said no chance. I always just saw myself as a white-ball player growing up.”
Words of advice from Crowe aside – “had some good nights with Hogan, over some red wine, talking about my batting” – Taylor also had a tweaked technique to fall back on in his innings of 107, which helped grow New Zealand’s lead to 443 against West Indies in Hamilton. “I felt a bit rushed in the first innings,” he said. “It was nice to work a little bit on that and change my technique ever so slightly and nice to get the lead over 400, I think that was the main focus.”
Asked about the specifics of what he had changed in his batting this innings, Taylor said: “Without giving too much away, just trying to stand a bit more side-on and not move as across my stumps as much… Sometimes, when teams are bouncing you all the time, you can have your weight a little bit more on the back foot. I tried to keep it more neutral, just trying to keep it relatively still and a pick the ball up, and I thought I pulled relatively well today.”
Is breaking Crowe’s record on Taylor’s mind, then? “That was one of his goals, so I’ll try my best,” Taylor said with a laugh. “We’ll have to wait and see.”