Cricket: Ross Taylor urges Blackcaps to remain 'professional' in hunt of test series victory over England

Blackcaps veteran Ross Taylor is urging New Zealand to remain "professional" in their hunt for a rare test series win in England, even with their opponents on the ropes after day three at Edgbaston.

At stumps on day three, the Blackcaps had England at their mercy - teetering at 122/9 with a lead of just 37 runs.

The Blackcaps have won just two-test series' on English soil - in 1986 and 1999 - but barring a disaster or a miracle, should close out their third victory with more than a day to spare. Neither of England's last pair - Olly Stone and James Anderson - are recognised batsmen.

Taylor, 37, played a large part in New Zealand's advantage, scoring 80 of the Blackcaps' first innings of 388 all out, earning an 85-run lead.

But despite the strong position his side is in, Taylor is adamant the Blackcaps won't rest on their laurels until the job is done.

"You want to be professional in the way you go about it," Taylor says.

"The batters out there can score runs. If they can get a decent lead, they can get their tails up and you never know what happens.

"Whatever we do, we need to do it well. Get that one wicket, and go about the chase in a professional manner.

Taylor couldn't have timed his knock any better. Despite his status as New Zealand's all-time leading run-scorer in both tests and ODIs, his place had come under fire - his latest knock being only the second time in his past 16 innings he's exceeded 50.

Starting his innings against the swinging ball, and England's most prolific wicket-takers in Anderson and Stuart Broad, Taylor worked his way back into form - and spent vital time at the crease ahead of the World Test Championship final against England starting next Friday.

"I'd like to have scored a lot more runs," Taylor adds.

"But just how the cricket's been played over the last little while, if you don't score runs in the first innings, you don't actually get much of a bat in the second innings back home.

"It was nice to contribute in the first innings and get a bit of rhythm…  I was happy with the fight that I did yesterday, and then today I felt a lot better. 

"It would have been good to get that confidence higher than it would have [been] before the game. It would have been nice to have gone on, but I would have taken 80 before the game."

Taylor also praised Central Districts and New Zealand teammate Will Young, who top-scored with 82 in New Zealand's first innings - having been called in to replace captain Kane Williamson.

"It's always nice to see your domestic teammates do well," Taylor says. "It would have been nice for him to have gone on and got that first hundred as well.

"He's going to be a fantastic player for us for a long period of time. It would have been nice to get a hundred, but he definitely would have taken 80 [82].

"The confidence that he'll get from that, the learnings, and the county cricket... he's learning a lot. 

"To come in and replace Kane is no easy feat. [But] to come in and bat as well as he did, I'm sure he'll get a lot of confidence as well."