Crowe backs Taylor to set the batting standard

MATT RICHENS IN DUNEDIN
Last updated 05:01 05/12/2013
Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum
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GOOD SHOW BOYS: Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum embrace in Dunedin after scoring test centuries against the West Indies.

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Ross Taylor could score 20 test centuries and set the new standard of Kiwi batting greatness, says New Zealand's most successful batsmen Martin Crowe.

Taylor climbed to fourth equal on the New Zealand test century makers list this week with his 217no against the West Indies, in Dunedin.

His ninth test ton leaves him equal with Stephen Fleming and behind only Crowe (17), John Wright (12), and Nathan Astle (11), but Crowe - his mentor - believes the 30-year-old can end on top.

"My wish is that the batting standard for New Zealand is 20-plus hundreds," Crowe told Fairfax Media.

"That was my goal, but I ran out of legs. To be world class, it's obvious we must raise all we do to world class standards."

On the eve of the first test, the pair spoke about Taylor's mental state and Crowe talked about how best to approach the innings despite being light on time in the middle.

It worked. Taylor batted more than eight hours and joined Crowe in a group of just 13 Kiwis who have scored a test double century.

Crowe couldn't have been happier to see his mate score his first hundred in more than a year then carry on to a big score.

"I'm very pleased for him, after a tough year," Crowe said.

"His devoted work paid off. [His innings was] an excellent example for many to follow."

Crowe said the two hugs which Taylor and the man who replaced him as skipper, Brendon McCullum, shared when the pair reached their respective day one centuries was a symbolic sign there were no hard feelings between the team-mates.

Meanwhile, West Indies quick Tino Best also sung Taylor's praises.

"The fella is a class act," a shattered Best said after bowling a career high 34.1 overs.

"I've always admired him for a long time. I'm happy for him. The last year or so he's been going through a tough period in New Zealand and to come and score a double hundred, I know the wicket is a little placid, but he showed a really good attitude and his concentration was immense."

Best did create a half chance when Taylor was on just two on day one, but the gloved ball ballooned over the slip cordon.

"He showed the temperament of an international batsman in his prime," Best added.

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- Fairfax Media

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