Cricket

James Taylor backed for England recall

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Taylor has been in inspiring form. (©GettyImages)
Taylor has been in inspiring form. (©GettyImages).

Nottinghamshire coach Mike Newell has backed James Taylor for an England recall as Kevin Pietersen faces a battle to be fit for the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford on August 1st. 

Taylor has been in fine form all year and could slot straight into England's middle order as they look to gain an unassailable 3-0 lead and retain the Ashes in Manchester.

Pietersen picked up a strain in his left calf on Sunday, which ruled him out of the fourth day's play and may have further ramifications for England's Ashes campaign.

Newell has backed Taylor to fill the void left by the South African-born batsman, however, saying to BBC Sport: "In terms of runs and confidence, he's in a good place". 

Taylor has scored 824 runs at an average of 58.85 in the County Championship this season and has also enjoyed good form in the YB40 tournament, averaging 112 in seven innings. 

He recently scored a superb 204* in a Championship draw with Sussex to remind the England selectors of his ability.

Taylor made his England debut last summer against South Africa at Hedingley, scoring 34 in a 147-run partnership with Pietersen. 

He retained his place for the final Test of that series at Lords, before being discarded for the winter tour of India.

Since then, the diminutive right hander has been in fine form, both when captaining England Lions in Australia this winter and in the County season that has followed. 

He was one of the few players to come away from the Lions tour with an advanced reputation, having averaged 66 with the bat.

Newell believes that Taylor's time may have come again, saying: "James is still knocking the door down with his runs in county cricket, he's still well thought of at the Lions level and I'm sure it will be a matter of time before he gets a chance again".

Taylor's name was also mentioned alongside recently dropped opener Nick Compton by England batting coach Graham Gooch when discussing Pietersen's potential replacement.

Other than possibly replacing the injured Pietersen, it is unlikely that England will make any changes for the third Test. 

The only question mark would be over the inclusion of a second specialist spinner on a turning pitch at Old Trafford. 

This would either result in the exclusion of a fast bowler, most likely Tim Bresnan, or one of the batsmen. The latter is unlikely, however, as England will be looking to bolster their batting after finding themselves in a perilous position at 30-3 in both innings at Lords and with several of the top order failing to find their best form yet.


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Topics:
Kevin Pietersen
England cricket
Cricket
The Ashes
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