England exile Kevin Pietersen has spoken out in support of the opinion that Alastair Cook and co. should revert back to selecting Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor, after their winless run continued against India at Lord’s.
The South African-born batsman took to Twitter, following England’s defeat in the second Test of a five-match series, to show support for one of his former teammates.
KP vote of confidence
He posted a simple tweet, purely containing the hashtag: “#bringbackJT”. Whilst not to be confused with former England football captain, John Terry, there are some English batsmen who will be looking over their shoulder at Taylor’s diminutive figure.
The 24-year-old has been tipped for big things in the future, but failed to perform in either of his Test appearances at home to South Africa two years ago.
His highest Test score of 34 came in his debut at Headingley, where he played his part in a 147-run partnership with Pietersen that helped save the match.
Taylor responded to the Surrey T20 star’s vote of confidence by tweeting: “Thanks mate. I remember the good old days when me and you used to bat together”.
Fall from grace
Since his last call-up, England have slipped from first down to fifth in the ICC Test Rankings. Nearly 12 months have elapsed since they last won a five-day game, and pressure continues to build on the current side.
Rejuvenation has come in the form of Joe Root, Gary Ballance and Moeen Ali. All three are exciting young talents who have been the only silver lining to England’s torrid run of form.
With established a experienced members of the squad continuing to disappoint, it could well be time to bring in more youthful vigour.
Looking to the future
That could happen with the reintroduction of Taylor. When he made his debut, the former Leicestershire batsman had spent a lot of his career playing County Championship Division Two cricket, but the right-hander is now more versed after moving to Trent Bridge.
Taylor has yet to record a first-class hundred this year, but has still scored 698 runs at an average just shy of 40 in the longer format of the game. Drastic changes need to be made to the national side, and this would represent forward thinking on behalf of the selectors.
Bringing in more youngsters – just like Jos Buttler – is going to make England better prepared for the future, by inducting these cricketers into the Test arena at a younger age.
While fans can barely watch the team’s continued fall from grace, players on the periphery of the national side must be rubbing their hands together. A call-up now could transpire into a long-term stay on the international stage.