Taylor, 35, playing his 99th Test ticked past Fleming’s 7172 runs, in his 175th innings. But after creating a two-run gap, he was dismissed by Pat Cummins for 22, becoming the fifth batsman to fall in New Zealand’s total of 136, which resulted in a 279-run defeat.
278 NZ Test Match cricketers. @RossLTaylor You deserve to sit at the top of the mountain. Your place in NZ cricketing greatness is assured. Congrats on an amazing achievement mate. pic.twitter.com/AFcIZM1kZX
— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) January 6, 2020
Fleming, who represented New Zealand in 111 Tests between 1994 and 2008, captaining in 80 of them, was the first batsman from the country to cross the 7000-run mark, before Taylor joined him last month.
Taylor is already New Zealand’s highest run-getter in one-day internationals, where he has amassed 8376 runs at 47.86, making him only the second after Fleming to breach the 8000-run mark.
His tally of 19 Test centuries is the second highest for a batsman from the country, after Williamson’s 21, and he also has the most combined runs for a New Zealand cricketer across formats, with over 17,000 international runs.
Taylor made his Test debut in November 2007, under Daniel Vettori. Since then, he has scored the seventh most Test runs by any batsman around the world, and by far the most by a Kiwi batsman.
The end of the Sydney Test tied him with Brendon McCullum at 474 innings – the most by a New Zealand batsman in international cricket.