Cricket

James Taylor: The man to spice up England’s batting order

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A record chase of 491 was needed by England to beat Pakistan on Monday, the first time the Green Shirts would have been defeated in the United Arab Emirates.

It was not to be, as the hosts managed to bowl the Three Lions out, just 6.3 overs from earning a draw that would have been deserved based on the evidence of their second innings determination.

Since the defeat, there have been calls from various ex-players and pundits wanting a change to the side’s batting line-up, and Nottinghamshire's James Taylor could be just the man to bring life and competition back to the England team.

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Who is James Taylor?

The 25-year-old last played Test cricket in 2012, when he managed only 48 runs in two matches against South Africa, and has been trying to get back into the team ever since.

Taylor has continued to play for England in one-day cricket, impressing against Australia in September, where he hit his first ODI century, but a place in the Test side remains his main ambition.

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His performances for his county show he is more than capable of hitting the big scores and staying in when the going gets tough, helping his club finish third in the County Championship first division by hitting 991 runs at an average of 49.55, including a knock of 291 against Sussex in July.

Who would he replace?

Alastair Cook and Joe Root have been the only bright sparks in an otherwise inconsistent and lacking batting order, with both scoring well so far in this series – Cook leads the most runs scored table on 338 while Root is second on 277.

Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood and James Anderson all batted superbly in a desperate - but ultimately failed - attempt to restore some pride to the England camp, following a first innings collapse on day three left little hope of the side getting a result out of the second of three tests in the UAE.

Jos Buttler has previously been seen as someone who would be an England regular for many years to come but has not managed to pass 50 in his previous 12 innings, with his last coming against New Zealand in May.

His performances against Pakistan have only increased the number of critics and he is seen as one of the first to go should England decide to change the squad around for the third test, which starts on Sunday.

With Jonny Bairstow able to take over wicketkeeping duties from Buttler, it would be a good time to give Taylor the chance to show he has the ability to perform on the big stage.

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Topics:
Cricket
England cricket

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