NZ have the fighting spirit to make historic run chase
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New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has urged his team to display their fighting spirit when they attempt to pull off a world record run chase in the day-night Test at Optus Stadium.
Australia are in complete command of the first Test despite losing a flurry of wickets late on Saturday.
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The hosts will resume at 6-167 in their second innings on Sunday - an overall lead of 417 after skittling NZ for 166.
The highest successful fourth-innings run chase in Test history was the West Indies' 7-418 to beat Australia at St John's in 2003.
The second highest was South Africa's 4-414 to beat Australia at the WACA Ground in 2008.
NZ are going to need to beat those records if they are to prevail in the first Test, and Taylor says his team won't shy away from the challenge.
"Anytime you're going to chase 350, 400 on a wearing wicket it's going to be tough," Taylor said.
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"Throughout the last few years, the strength of the side is their fighting spirit. Regardless of what happens we want to fight and fight right to the end.
"It's a strange game this cricket. It's the time for us to step up as a batting unit and show what we can do and get our confidence up."
Taylor has posted scores of 290, 36no, and 80 in his three Test knocks in Perth, and is one of the players who holds the key to NZ's victory hopes. The other is skipper Kane Williamson, who has a knack for posting huge scores. Taylor said the pitch had started to deteriorate after three successive days of 40-degree heat.
"The cracks are definitely starting to open up," Taylor said. "It can be a bit two-paced. When you do bowl short, as we did (on Saturday), some were going through and some were staying low, which is also difficult. "But you've just got to find a way of surviving and giving yourself the best chance."
HIGHEST SUCCESSFUL FOURTH-INNINGS TEST RUN CHASES
7-418 - West Indies beat Australia at St John's in 2003
4-414 - South Africa beat Australia at the WACA Ground in 2008
4-406 - India beat West Indies at Port of Spain in 1976
3-404 - Australia beat England at Leeds in 1948