Taylor given Notts one-day captaincy
Nottinghamshire have appointed James Taylor as their limited-overs captain after the England batsman agreed a contract extension keeping him at Trent Bridge until the end of the 2016 season. Taylor replaces Chris Read, who relinquished the roles last month but will remain in charge of the Championship side.
Taylor, who has played two Tests and two one-day internationals for England, stood in for Read during a Championship game last season and has also captained the Lions. He has been named as Read's official vice-captain in four-day cricket, as Nottinghamshire attempt to groom a successor for their 35-year-old wicketkeeper. Read recently told the BBC that had there been a "ready-made replacement" as Championship captain, he would have considered stepping down.
Taylor, who joined Nottinghamshire in 2011 from Leicestershire, said: "I'm looking forward to captaining Notts Outlaws because I've had positive experiences leading the Lions against good opposition on tough tours.
"There are challenges that come with it but I'll enjoy the extra responsibility. I'm going to relish every minute of it but most importantly I need to lead from the front with the bat. I'm a relatively young and inexperienced captain so I haven't defined my style yet. I'll definitely be trying to get the best out of everyone in any way that I can by giving them confidence to play."
Taylor was Nottinghamshire's leading run-scorer in the 2013 Yorkshire Bank 40 competition, which they won. That trophy satisfied Read's ambition in the short formats and Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, Mick Newell, hopes the new partnership with Taylor can help to further invigorate the county, which had to battle against relegation from Division One of the Championship for most of the season.
Can't wait to captain Notts in one day and T20 cricket next year! Exciting times ahead! Thanks for all the support guys! #outlaws— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) November 6, 2013
"It's important to have a succession plan in place and I was keen to get James involved in the captaincy in some form," Newell said. "Chris had stepped aside to allow David Hussey and Adam Voges to captain our Twenty20 side in recent seasons and benefitted from having that break and this is a natural extension of that, with James very suited to the role.
"Both players are pleased with the arrangement and I'm hopeful that it will help us to continue to improve."
Read had already given his backing to Taylor, telling BBC Radio Nottingham on Tuesday: "He has good pedigree and understands the game. He's still young, but is a senior player who garners respect. It's not as if he's coming into this with no experience. He has been involved with the Lions as captain for a number of years now."
Taylor is spending the winter in Australia, although not as part of England's Performance Programme Squad. He was in line to deputise for Kevin Pietersen during the summer's Ashes, scoring a century against the touring Australians while on loan at Sussex, but Pietersen recovered from a calf strain and Taylor has since fallen behind Gary Ballance in England's list of middle-order options. He is keen to stay in the selectors' thoughts, however.
"People are always keen to remind me that I'm only 23 but I know that I could be playing a bit higher given the opportunity," he said. "It does frustrate me because I want to be there as soon as I can. I'm very greedy in that sense because I'm never satisfied with what I've got.
"I'll always be pushing myself and working to make the next step. If I get back into Test cricket again, I'll work that bit harder to stay there."
Newell admitted that a return to England duty for Taylor could force a rethink of the captaincy at Nottinghamshire but was positive about the player's chances of a recall, saying that his increasing comfort at domestic cricket's highest level augured well. "It's almost impossible to combine an international career with club captaincy and we will re-evaluate things if James becomes a Test regular," Newell said.
"He is entering a crucial period for his international aspirations over the next three seasons and I still believe that he could play a lot of cricket for England if opportunities arise for him. I consider him to be an established Division One batsman now and, having had a couple of years in our dressing room, it feels like the ideal time to give him additional responsibility."