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'Never thought I would play again after debut Test series,' says Ross Taylor as he is set to clinch a special milestone

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New Zealand cricket Ross Taylor has said that he did not think he would again play Tests after his debut series against South Africa.

New Zealand cricket Ross Taylor has said that he did not think he would again play Tests after his debut series against South Africa.

Taylor's comments came ahead of the two-match Test series between India and BlackCaps. The first Test will begin on Feb. 21, which will be Taylor's 100th match in the longest format and that would make him the first-ever cricketer to play 100 matches in all formats of the game.

The former Kiwi skipper made his international debut in 2006 in a home ODI series against West Indies. A year later, the right-hand batsman made his first appearance in the Test format when New Zealand toured South Africa for limited-overs and a two-match Test series. The first Test that was played in Johannesburg was Taylor's maiden red-ball game for New Zealand.

"After my first Test series against South Africa, I did not think I would play ever a match in the longest format, probably lucky with the timing. I hope over time there will be a lot of players who represent their side in 100 matches in all formats.

When I played against England and got a 100 in the first Test. That was the first time when I believed that I belong in the longest format. To get those milestones early on made me believe that I was good enough," Taylor said in a recent interview.

Taylor's first Test scores read as 15 and 4 and New Zealand suffered a heavy loss by 358 runs. He failed in the second Test as well as he managed just 17 and eight runs in the respective two innings. New Zealand ended up getting whitewashed 2-0 in the Test series.

However, Taylor announced his arrival in his second series, which was against England at home. The first match was played in Hamilton where Taylor recorded his maiden Test hundred and there began his love affair with the ground that still continues to be quite strong. Taylor, in the recently ended ODI series against India, scored his 21st ODI century at the same ground.

Taylor was awarded the Player of the Series as New Zealand clinched a clean sweep of 3-0 against Virat Kohli and Co. With the focus now shifted to the longest format of the game, Taylor was asked about his favourite knock in Test cricket.

To which he responded by mentioning four of his best innings that also included his 290-run knock against Australia in Perth.

"One of my best hundreds was in Manchester. I scored 158, we ended up losing the match against England. Then there would be knocks of 140 and 170 against Sri Lanka in Colombo. The last would be the 290-run knock against Australia at Perth. The match ended as a draw," Taylor, who has 19 Test centuries, added.

Having scored close to 18,000 international runs in his career of 14 years so far, Taylor said he is "happy" with what he has achieved and Taylor, who has three children, credited his family for their immense support throughout.

"I am happy with what I have achieved so far in my career. Wellington holds a special place in my heart. Having the support of my family is special. My wife has raised the three kids on her own. The kids understand what their dad does. They have definitely helped in balancing cricket. In the end, your family is there regardless of how many runs you have scored," Taylor said.

I think I am doing something that I have always wanted to do, I have always wanted to play for New Zealand. My family has sacrificed more than I have. My kids have been able to travel to some excellent places. My daughter wants to travel to India," the former New Zealand captain added.

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