Taylor 51 shy of NZ ODI record | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 20, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 20, 2019

Taylor 51 shy of NZ ODI record

Ross Taylor, the New Zealand batsman, is just 51 runs away from becoming the all-time leading run-scorer in one-day internationals for his country.

Taylor, on 7957 runs from 217 games at an average of 48.22, is just behind Stephen Fleming, the former captain, who scored 8007 runs from 279 matches. He has a chance to take over the record in the third ODI against Bangladesh in Dunedin on Wednesday.

However, the middle-order batsman, who will turn 35 next month, played down his feat. "If you play enough games, some of these milestones come along," he told reporters on the eve of the game.

"I guess it'd be nice, but hopefully there's a few runs left in me. Flem was someone that I looked up to as a player growing up, and when I first made the Black Caps as well."

Taylor already holds the national records for most centuries (20), most fifties (66) and highest average. Of late, he's been in a purple patch of sorts, making six consecutive fifty-plus scores before the series against India. But he sees all of this only as records to be broken. 

"My mentor, Martin Crowe, used to always say to try and get to these records, but you're just setting up for the next guy to come along and beat them," he said. "Hopefully, in years to come, Guppy [Martin Guptill] and Kane [Williamson] can come and beat it as well."

If he does get the record, it will be another chapter in his love affair with the University Oval, Dunedin. The town was where he began that run of consecutive 50-plus scores last year. Taylor, battling a quadriceps injury, heroically steered his side from 2/2, smashing his career-best 181* to chase down England's challenging 335/9. A few years earlier, in 2013, he had made a double-century at the venue against the Windies.

The night before the 181*, he had eaten at a restaurant called 'Madam Woo'. "I think it's closed, so lucky I'm not superstitious before the game!" he joked.

Thinking back to that game against England, Taylor said, "I don't think it was until we got to maybe around the 40th over that I thought we had a good chance of winning it. The quad gave way. In hindsight it was probably a good thing to stand and deliver. I wasn't able to do much running."

But Taylor knows the past counts for little in a match. He's looking at the future, and knows that any experience his side take away from this series will be handy during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

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