Nottinghamshire batsmen James Taylor looks set to be given the nod for England in the third Ashes Test match, as he has been selected for Sussex’s three-day match against Australia at England’s request.
The 23-year-old is expected to be called in as cover for Kevin Pietersen, who is a doubt for the next match against Australia, which starts at Old Trafford on August 1, with a calf strain.
Taylor has had a taste if Test cricket before, as he played two matches against South Africa in the summer of 2012, but he failed to make enough of an impression to make the touring squad to India the following winter, making a top score of just 34 in three innings.
He faces competition for a place in the squad from the likes of Nick Compton, Ravi Bopara and Gary Ballance, who have all been named as potential replacements for Pietersen.
The tour match against the Aussies starts at Hove on Friday, and England team director Andy Flower wants to give Taylor an opportunity to impress the selectors before making a decision.
He said: "This will provide him with a valuable opportunity to play in a longer format while we consider our options.
Taylor will now miss Nottinghamshire’s next two Friends Life Twenty20 matches, and he has enjoyed an impressive season so far in his first year with the Trent Bridge club, with two first class hundreds and four half-centuries helping give him an average of 58.85 this year.
But the former Leicestershire player is keeping his feet on the ground, despite appearing as England’s first-choice replacement for Pietersen.
I'm not back in the Test side yet but I'm pleased to be a step closer to it and I've always dealt with situations like this by concentrating on the game in hand and refusing to look too far ahead," he said.
"I'm disappointed to have to miss two big Notts matches but the Sussex fixture will give me an opportunity to get some red ball practice and then I'll wait and see."
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