South Africa in England 2012 July 29, 2012

Taylor 'relishing' South Africa challenge

ESPNcricinfo staff
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James Taylor is "relishing" the prospect of facing South Africa's bowling attack at Headingley having been called into the squad for the second Test but is not taking his debut for granted.

Unless England change the balance of their side and play five bowlers, which is unlikely, Taylor will earn his first cap at No. 6 after Ravi Bopara became unavailable due to personal reasons shortly before the squad was named on Sunday morning.

Taylor, who has been captain of England Lions over the last two years and averages 61.60 from ten first-class matches for them, has long been earmarked as a Test batsman in waiting. But he had seemingly fallen down the pecking order at the start of this season after failing to secure a place in the extended England performance squad and Jonny Bairstow was chosen to replace an injured Bopara against West Indies.

However, Taylor led the Lions against the West Indians in May and scored an impressive century at Derby and this week hit his first Championship hundred for his new county, Nottinghamshire, against Sussex. It is actually Taylor's one-day form that has been more consistent and he has made 345 runs at 69 in the CB40.

"Facing South Africa's bowling attack is always going to be a tough challenge but it's something that I would relish because getting an England Test call has been my aim from the word go," he said. "Test cricket is the pinnacle but there was a noticeable step up to division one of the Championship and wickets haven't been easy to bat on this season

"I've always backed myself to play at the highest level and even though I'm young I've played a lot of cricket and I've got a lot of runs behind me. The next goal is to get a place in the eleven and if I get that opportunity I have to take it with both hands. If I get in the team then I have to work hard to get runs and then work harder again to do that consistently.

"I've always tried to keep my feet on the ground and strive to become a better player and that will always be my mantra."

Taylor's move from Leicestershire to Nottinghamshire for this season was with the aim of boosting his Test ambitions after getting a brief taste of international cricket last season against Ireland. He has now jumped back ahead of Bairstow while fighting off the challenge of Eoin Morgan and Nick Compton.

"I hoped that I would be next in line but I never took anything for granted although I have scored consistent runs in all forms of the game to earn this chance," he said. "Playing at Headingley would be a very proud moment for me but nothing has happened yet, I'm just one step closer and waiting for the nod and the opportunity to help England to get back into the series.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (July 30 2012, 03:23 AM GMT) Personally , I'm dubious but time will tell. However he has actually come back into some form after a slow start to the season. His last knock was 170 N/O.

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @Trickstar on (July 30 2012, 01:35 AM GMT) I see you're like the JTP to Bell - KP can do no wrong. I presume you read my response on the KP T20 BB article where I gave you evidence of where Flower said KP was to be rested for the WI ODI series after you queried the legitimacy of my comms - just that you went all quiet afterwards?

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster on (July 29 2012, 21:09 PM GMT) Possibly could actually strengthen both the batting and bowling. I think if you just went in with 10 players it wouldn't weaken the batting massively

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Woakes has impressed, but we all know there is a big step up to test cricket. Bresnan has consistently contributed both with bat and ball. Although not a match winner by himself he plays a key role. Remember last match he was unlucky in the first innings and not out in the second. I agree with some here though that if we cannot fins a decent enough no.6 then why not go for another all-rounder or specialist bowler (Finn/Woakes), we certainly wont miss the runs.

  • on July 31, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    i am afraid that SA bowlers eat this little man up. Good luck to him...cmon JT.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 31, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Lots of talk about Compton. Another saffa, are you serious??

  • JG2704 on July 31, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @Si Baker /MattyP1979 on - When I first mentioned 5/1/5 on here pre UAE I had very few comms in agreement. Now it seems most are. I've not had one convincing reason against. And I don't see it as a gamble as we have no established number 6. This to me would be an ideal time to try it as we wouldn't even be dropping a batsman to do so. Another reason why I wanted Nick in there is because I see him a guy who will deal better with the pressure. I'm not sure any of our bowlers deserve to be dropped but if they were to drop Broad or Bres and still go for a 5/1/5 that'd suit me although again it'd be harsh on Broad/Bres. If we were doing the same with batsmen we'd prob only keep Cook and Trott in there but I guess the difference is we don't have as much quality on reserve. Guess re JT , we're going to need someone to replace KP who I think will be playing his last Eng match this series

  • lethal007 on July 31, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    ohhh!!! some one has just inquired about headingly pitch, they wont gonna make it seaming wicket nor a bouncy one.... I'm afraid that they will choose spinning option as swan was pathetic in the last test. JT will see what Test cricket is all about....

    if he have chosen for headingly Syten, Morkel, Philander, Kallis, and Tahir will be waiting to welcome you....good luck Jame taylor

  • on July 31, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    @JG: Yup, I'd definitely go 5-1-5 as well - but only as long as Woakes is included at 7 in place of Bresnan, whose recent batting form has been brittle at best. Unfortunately, though, we're not the Andys, so that won't happen. Long-term, I believe that now it's clear that Woakes is a quality middle-order bat, he should be groomed for the Botham/Flintoff role at 6 or 7. I'd like to see that happen by next year's Ashes, but the selectors seem to have a blind spot re Woakes despite those impressive debut ODI & T20 performances in Oz in 2010-11. Re Compton: I wish Strauss had graciously hung up his bat before the start of the season to make way for a new opener, but after those cheap runs against the Windies, we're probably stuck with him until 2013/14, by which time I'm afraid it's possible that, with the advent of Hales, Root, Denly, Stokes, Bairstow, Roy, Vince et al, Nick may just miss the boat. A shame, as I think him & Cook would've forged a formidable opening partnership.

  • MattyP1979 on July 30, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Will he play? Or is this the perfect time to try 5-1-5. We are 1-0 down and everyone is calling for Finn to be included. @JG2704 agree with everything you have posted, but JT is a long term prospect though I think putting him against SA first up is a little on the harsh side. Good luck to him...cmon JT.

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @satish619chandar on (July 30 2012, 03:23 AM GMT) Personally , I'm dubious but time will tell. However he has actually come back into some form after a slow start to the season. His last knock was 170 N/O.

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @Trickstar on (July 30 2012, 01:35 AM GMT) I see you're like the JTP to Bell - KP can do no wrong. I presume you read my response on the KP T20 BB article where I gave you evidence of where Flower said KP was to be rested for the WI ODI series after you queried the legitimacy of my comms - just that you went all quiet afterwards?

  • JG2704 on August 1, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster on (July 29 2012, 21:09 PM GMT) Possibly could actually strengthen both the batting and bowling. I think if you just went in with 10 players it wouldn't weaken the batting massively

  • MattyP1979 on July 31, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Woakes has impressed, but we all know there is a big step up to test cricket. Bresnan has consistently contributed both with bat and ball. Although not a match winner by himself he plays a key role. Remember last match he was unlucky in the first innings and not out in the second. I agree with some here though that if we cannot fins a decent enough no.6 then why not go for another all-rounder or specialist bowler (Finn/Woakes), we certainly wont miss the runs.

  • on July 31, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    i am afraid that SA bowlers eat this little man up. Good luck to him...cmon JT.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 31, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Lots of talk about Compton. Another saffa, are you serious??

  • JG2704 on July 31, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    @Si Baker /MattyP1979 on - When I first mentioned 5/1/5 on here pre UAE I had very few comms in agreement. Now it seems most are. I've not had one convincing reason against. And I don't see it as a gamble as we have no established number 6. This to me would be an ideal time to try it as we wouldn't even be dropping a batsman to do so. Another reason why I wanted Nick in there is because I see him a guy who will deal better with the pressure. I'm not sure any of our bowlers deserve to be dropped but if they were to drop Broad or Bres and still go for a 5/1/5 that'd suit me although again it'd be harsh on Broad/Bres. If we were doing the same with batsmen we'd prob only keep Cook and Trott in there but I guess the difference is we don't have as much quality on reserve. Guess re JT , we're going to need someone to replace KP who I think will be playing his last Eng match this series

  • lethal007 on July 31, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    ohhh!!! some one has just inquired about headingly pitch, they wont gonna make it seaming wicket nor a bouncy one.... I'm afraid that they will choose spinning option as swan was pathetic in the last test. JT will see what Test cricket is all about....

    if he have chosen for headingly Syten, Morkel, Philander, Kallis, and Tahir will be waiting to welcome you....good luck Jame taylor

  • on July 31, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    @JG: Yup, I'd definitely go 5-1-5 as well - but only as long as Woakes is included at 7 in place of Bresnan, whose recent batting form has been brittle at best. Unfortunately, though, we're not the Andys, so that won't happen. Long-term, I believe that now it's clear that Woakes is a quality middle-order bat, he should be groomed for the Botham/Flintoff role at 6 or 7. I'd like to see that happen by next year's Ashes, but the selectors seem to have a blind spot re Woakes despite those impressive debut ODI & T20 performances in Oz in 2010-11. Re Compton: I wish Strauss had graciously hung up his bat before the start of the season to make way for a new opener, but after those cheap runs against the Windies, we're probably stuck with him until 2013/14, by which time I'm afraid it's possible that, with the advent of Hales, Root, Denly, Stokes, Bairstow, Roy, Vince et al, Nick may just miss the boat. A shame, as I think him & Cook would've forged a formidable opening partnership.

  • MattyP1979 on July 30, 2012, 20:37 GMT

    Will he play? Or is this the perfect time to try 5-1-5. We are 1-0 down and everyone is calling for Finn to be included. @JG2704 agree with everything you have posted, but JT is a long term prospect though I think putting him against SA first up is a little on the harsh side. Good luck to him...cmon JT.

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @bantersaurus on (July 30 2012, 13:24 PM GMT) Wouldn't say it's easier batting at 6 but because a player hasn't played at 6 before doesn't mean he can't do it - or in any batting position for that matter. A reverse of that is Shane Watson. I'm not sure if he played as an opener in club cricket but he went from mid order to open with success

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 30 2012, 12:47 PM GMT) Cheers bud. Do you think Chappell is morphing into Bruce Forsyth? I actually see 6/1/4 as more of a gamble as we have to win this test and our 6th batting position has been a liability. I think you have to look at it from the opposition's perspective and who they would least like to play against. For me I'm sure their bowlers would prefer to bowl at Taylor or Bopara more than the batsmen would prefer to face Finn or Onions on top of our other 4 bowlers

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 19:13 GMT

    @Adrian1963 on (July 30 2012, 12:13 PM GMT) - Class post there bud. A breath of fresh air.

  • Yasassri on July 30, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    good opportunity to test player like 'Chris Woakes', as a all rounder

  • RandyOZ on July 30, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Someone just mentioned Swann. Got a good laugh out of it. Poor old Monty, release a book prematurely mate, you might also get an undeserved extended run!

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    @Si Baker on (July 30 2012, 10:39 AM GMT) You do actually make some good points but from a Compton point of view , if you look at what both players average and runs scored throughout the season then Nick wins hands down. Also re the 3 inns Nick played vs SA and WI (the 2 vs SA one was a run out and the other he was not out). Also look at the situations where Nick has come in and held an inns together whereas James runs seem to have often come in less pressure situations. I really think Compton is the best bet for number 6 (if we must play that formation). Maybe we review this after this test and hopefully JT will prove me wrong.

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @Khawaja Ikram Ul Haq on (July 30 2012, 08:55 AM GMT) - They all have the ability to take wickets/trouble the batsmen as they have proven time and again. One bad test on a decent batting track doesn't make them a bad bowling unit. Re our batsmen - well that's a different kettle altogether. Since becoming number 1 they have delivered once vs an OK SL bowling line up and against a mediocre WI bowling attack and even then the whole unit wasn't entirely convincing

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @Ranjan2012 on (July 30 2012, 08:03 AM GMT) re "both James & Broad were looking tired" - could that not be an indication that the bowling attack needs bolstering with an extra bowler rather than just replacing one for another? You can look at it 2 ways - 1 - It was the bowlers fault for not being able to penetrate or 2 - It was the batsmen's fault for not being able to post bigger totals. Obviously there is a bit of both but I'd say more of the 1st.

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    @Munkeymomo -Personally I don't see the point in England playing 6 batsmen anywhere because basically it has never worked for England. Our number 6 has rarely/never made a game changing contribution. I'd go for 5 bowlers every time for that reason and if a 5th bowler meant that we dismissed SA 50 runs cheaper than with 4 bowlers then surely it is better than having a number 6 batsman who has for England only scored runs as bonus runs when our top 5 bats have performed. We've seen on numerous occasions where the 6 batsmen has been given a chance to show it's value and it has failed every single time. I can't imagine a scenario where we'd fall just short with the bat where we'd realistically think "If only we had Bopara,Bairstow,Morgan etc"

  • bantersaurus on July 30, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    Not sure why the number 6 batsman needs to be a middle order batsman only. I think you'll fine some of the best players of the modern era have had to do their apprenticeships at number 6 when they started. So not picking him because he can't bat at 6 would be a poor excuse. If anything it's by a long margin easier than batting 3 or 4.

  • Juiceoftheapple on July 30, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Compton is a blocker and hard to get out and is extrmely fit. He does not have a wide array of shots. He had a great start to the season, but has taken a few years to find his feet and raise his average, only just touching 40 now isnt it? England are only in the process of giving debuts if it has been earned over time, or proved under the pressure of INT short format cricket (Bairstow, Morgan). Stats arent as important as genuine talent which they can work with (Cook?). Hence the debut of Finn as well. Taylor has ticked so many of these boxes his time should have come earlier tbh, probably before Bairstow. He deserves a long run, although Bairstow will be back one day undoubtedly. Doesn't Taylor normally play at 4 or 5 for Notts/Leics as well, so is it any shock England are trying to give test experience to KP's possible long term replacement. I dont think Hildreth is a million miles away either.

  • VillageBlacksmith on July 30, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Great... Rabbit Noruns has gone, now just Jelly Belly left... with his strike rate of 23%!! Anyone who can hit it off the square gets my vote..

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 30, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    @JG2704 (post on July 30 2012, 07:49 AM GMT): Hi mate - yeah when you put it into perspective like that, I totally understand your Bell comment now. The whole 5-1-5 thing... I'm not so sure. As much as us fans would love to see it tried, going by the current whispers I just can't see Flower et al. being brave enough to 'sacrifice' a batsman for another bowler, which is a shame. Yeah, the Bonnie Tyler song comes to mind everytime Cricinfo talk about Finn! I tried to post something similar on Chappell's article, be alas, he doesn't like me much!

  • Adrian1963 on July 30, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    We South Africans still remember Swans 5-12 and Broads 4-17 against us. Swan is great - after the last tour and before Tahir - he was all SA needed ! Both bowlers will be back for England this tour.

    A great win for SA but now for the series.

    What will the next wicket be like ?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 30, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    With no other team even close to the two competing at the moment in a test series, James is better than anything that the middle-ranked teams like Australia have. A good player.

  • on July 30, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    @JG2: If we take *recent* form (as you've suggested we do) as our yardstick re the Compton/Taylor debate, then Taylor wins there as well: 483 runs in his last 10 first-class innings with two centuries, as opposed to Compton's 443 with a solitary hundred. I take your point re their respective career averages, but by precisely the same token the centuries Compton was reeling off in April are now, I'm sure you'll agree, pretty much irrelevant. Incidentally, in first-class matches against the touring West Indian & South African sides Compton's scored 39 runs in three innings while Taylor made that magnificent 118 as Lions captain against the WIndies in his only outing. Compton - along with Hales, Root, Denly & Lyth - will no doubt be vying for Strauss's opening slot sooner rather than later, but when you consider that, by comparison, Taylor wins on career average, recent form, batting in position, youth/longevity, & both international experience & runs, it's simply no contest. Case closed.

  • Meety on July 30, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    @Si Baker - re: Compton's age, you could use Mike Hussey & Trott as similar reference points, they did okay!

  • on July 30, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    i think compton and taylor should both be included if their first class averages are so high...however teh bowling deptt needs augmenting even though at headingley the pitch maybe green...u need some bowler who can and trouble teh batsmen...

  • on July 30, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Taylor has the potential but he has to play well to keep the likes of Bopara and Morgan out of the test side on a permanent basis.

  • Ranjan2012 on July 30, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    England should first change it's bowling line up.Bring in "Finn" in place of "Bresnan".The last test was an "awfull bowling failure".The Bowler just didnot hit the right areas , both James & Broad were looking tired. Interestingly "James Anderson" found the right length , in " bats man friendly pitches" in the subcontinent!!! The length vanished in Oval !! Swan's failure was more depressing ,he knows Oval pitch like his palm .Yet , he was clueless , & finally wicketless in Oval. Prior to the test series in India, Swan's set back is the begining of serious setback for England. England should revive fast. England should be bothered more about their bowling department than Taylor's entry in test cricket.

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @Si Baker on (July 30 2012, 06:28 AM GMT) You have a point with Compton not being a natural number 6 but I'd say that's the only point you have there and also we've seen how well our natural number 6s have done. Forget career averages , surely recent form is more relevant and you or anyone can look at the stats and before today this season Compton has twice the average of Taylor and twice the runs of Taylor. I also feel that Compton is made of sturdier stuff than any of our potential number 6s. As I've said I'd prefer 5/1/5 anyway. BTW re Campton's age - I'd say that should count for him as he is more experienced to deal with different situations.

  • Munkeymomo on July 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @lethal007: Don't see the point of 5 bowlers at Headingley, should be a green top. I would have had Finn over Bopara in the first test (probably would have got as many runs as the perpetual let down, the personification of disappointment, or whichever other humorous nickname you may have for Bopara). On a more helpful surface I'd go with 4 bowlers, just a shame to lose Bopara's bowling if nothing else, why can none of these professional batsmen throw down some useful medium pace? Taylor can bowl a bit of spin but no more useful than Kapes.

  • JG2704 on July 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK You never know they could still do the unthinkable and go 5/1/5. Off this subject you responded to a post recently where I criticised Bell which I was too late to respond to. Basically I wasn't particularly meaning to be harsh on Bell but was responding to a poster who said Bell deserved play of the day and always mentions the smallest of contributions Bell makes and gets very angry if anyone ever criticises Bell. When you look at what Amla,Smith and Kallis did - Bel's effort was dwarfed and probably looked better than it was because of how bad our other batsmen were. If he saw the job through even if Eng failed he'd have had more praise from me but also his dismissal looked tame. BTW liked your Bonnie Tyler ref.

  • Rowayton on July 30, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    You're showing your age (and mine) Trapper439. By the way, as an Aussie, I think landl might be right. But I don't see any of Forrest, Davis, Klinger or Cooper as future Test batsmen, really. You might instead want to look at people like Burns, Bailey, Chris Lynn, Khawaja, Phil Hughes etc as real future test players. In any case Woakes' average is inflated by not outs because he bats down the order. Bat him at number four and he'd be averaging high 20s at best.

  • on July 30, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    I declare myself as puzzled by all the remarks about Taylor 'not being ready' for Test cricket as I am by the equal number of commenters who seem to believe that England's entire batting order should be rejigged in order to accommodate Nick Compton. Let's not forget that the current batting vacancy is at No. 6. Fine player though Compton is, he's played exclusively either as an opener or at No. 3 for Middlesex & Somerset, while Taylor has slotted in at 4, 5 or 6 during his entire career with Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire & the England Lions. Aside from the obvious positional issue, Compton's now 29. He has a first-class batting average of 43.19: very impressive, but Taylor, even at 22, already has a FC average of 49.94. Having been a regular in the Lions squad for the past two or three years, he also has considerably more international experience than Compton. How much more 'ready' does he need to be?

  • BlackInWhites on July 30, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    Chopping and changing your team in the middle of a Test series is never a good sign... and making a debut in such a test series is never easy. Good luck

  • Trapper439 on July 30, 2012, 6:09 GMT

    When you're down and troubled, and you need a number six, and nothing, whoa nothing is going right...

  • on July 30, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    If James Taylor does moderately well, this batting position would be his. If performs well, I feel it would be difficult for Ravi to return to team.

  • on July 30, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    James Taylor must make his presence felt in the England team when it will play against South Africa this week as he has got potential to challenge the South African bowling attack.

  • Patchmaster on July 30, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    I'm staggered to see that Comptom hasn't had a chance - what more can he do ?! Typically, they'll probably pick him at the one time he starts to lose a little form, as they are doing with Taylor.

  • lethal007 on July 30, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    In my opinion James Taylor won't be selected for Headingley Test. He is an exciting prospect for England,but england has been looking for fifth bowler. Finn should be selected over Taylor. Prior is an excellent option at No. 6 while Bresnan at 7.

  • Patchmaster on July 30, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    @ RandyOZ, you're behind the 8 ball as usual mate ! He he, 'lack of depth' are you kidding me mate, any test match nation would welcome Cook, Peterson, Bell etc into their side, especially Aus, in fact the Eng top 6 would easily replace the Aus top 6.

  • bantersaurus on July 30, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    3 out 4 out then... Cannot see how Taylor will score runs against this South African attack. Fine player but no ready for this kind of challenge. If they are looking to win the series they need to pick 5 bowlers to take 20 wickets. If they want to throw Taylor into the deep end and see how he will cope if required for next years Ashes then this is the way to go.

  • satish619chandar on July 30, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    He lost some of his magnificent form.. England should have picked James when they were backing Morgon to the core.. That was the time when James was at his peak and scoring loads of runs.. Are they going to pick him at 6? Does his game suit that? England should look to play players at positions.. Playing a No.3 at 6 would require lots of effort especially at test level..

  • landl47 on July 30, 2012, 3:01 GMT

    LOL at RandyOZ- 'alarming lack of depth in the English batting ranks'! You do realize that Chris Woakes, with a FC batting average of 36.34 and 6 centuries (after his century in the current match), would merit serious consideration for the Australian side AS A BATSMAN? Woakes has a higher FC batting average than Peter Forrest (36.11) and Liam Davis (35.86), comparable to Tom Cooper (36.97) and not so far behind Michael Klinger (37.87). These are the guys that are being tried out as test batsmen on the Australian A tour, and Forrest is Vice-Captain. Woakes, with 244 FC wickets @24.31, is regarded in England as a bowling all-rounder. If you think England's lack of batting depth is alarming, how would you describe Australia's depth? Catastrophic?

  • landl47 on July 30, 2012, 2:33 GMT

    Of course I wish Taylor all the best in his test debut, but I can't help wishing the England selectors had held off a year or two. He's only just finding his feet in Divison 1 of the championship (first century this week) and he's only 22. I think he's a couple of years from being a test player. Bairstow was called up, showed he wasn't ready and now has to fight his way back into consideration. Is the same going to happen to Taylor?

  • Meety on July 30, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge - "...Taylor is better than anything Australia have or have produced in the last three years." - sorry Joe Burns is Taylor's superior. == == == Personally I would of "blooded" Taylor against the WIndies. I know at the time, Bairstow had a better start to the County season, although Taylor was better against the WIndies for the Lions. Given Taylor's age, I would be inclined to have picked Compton instead & slot Bell in as #6.

  • Greatest_Game on July 30, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-in-mouth. Taylor struggles to get into the English side because in his way are all the South Africans who could not make it into the Proteas squad. Compton, county runs leader & of course a Saffa, should have got the nod but the ECB now have instituted a quota system. Have to have at least 3 English batsmen in the top 7! (Dunno how they can keep Strauss in there. He's not a batsman anymore - he's just Morkel's bunny!) The second highest scorer in County 1st class is Lumb, another Saffa. He and Compton should head off down Randy's way as they'll never make the English team because of quota system no. 2. That's a pretty rough deal for them - 2 quota systems! ECB might consider a couple of other quotas. At least 1 real spinner in the team is an idea - come back Monty, all is forgiven. I hope you really like the feel of those ashes as I have a sneaking suspicion that the ECG will be having a bonfire soon, burning all those Number Ones they have been tossing about recently!

  • Trickstar on July 30, 2012, 1:35 GMT

    @gudolerhum Got to laugh at comments like this, how was KP's shot's any worse than ANY of the other England batsmen, he got caught behind in the first inning trying to smack a rank leg side bouncer off Kallis that he miss timed. Then in the second he got set up with some good fast bowling by Morkel who bombarded him with short stuff then did him with the fuller ball, which was about the only earned wicket in the second inning along with Cooks. So remind me why is he getting the special attention instead of the rest of the England batsmen, How was he more concerned with himself because from what I saw all the England batsmen in both inning gave it away pathetically even worse then KP in most occasions. England fans love it when he smashes bowlers like against Sri Lanka and India etc but cry when he gets out being aggressive, sorry but you can't have it both ways even though some of you think you can.

  • jezzastyles on July 30, 2012, 0:56 GMT

    @ian45 - "fastest" attack on the planet - mate, keep tellin' yourself that enough times and you might even come to believe it. Steyn is nowhere near the top pace on a CONSISTENT basis, Morkel is quicker on average, and AUS has several bowlers who are consistently quicker than both; not to mention PAK and Roach for WI. Anyway, in the modern age with the proliferation of protective gear, virtually making the short-ball into a "toothless tiger" for any savvy batsmen, pure pace is over-rated. What makes Steyn the #1 bowler is his consistent line & length, and what he actually does with the ball. Granted, pure pace is exciting and looks good on the telly, but for pure effectiveness, give me a quality bowler who knows where to bowl and doesn't bowl too many free-balls. If he happens to be lightning quick, all the better, but that rarely happens. And no, none of the SA bowlers are lightning quick (don't know much about your domestic stocks though).

  • jezzastyles on July 30, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    @Spelele - the young lad is just emphasising that he feels he is ready for the challenge of Test cricket - he wasn't being disrespectful of the opposition and he didn't make any outlandish claims. Moreover, with all of the coaching & advice given to players regarding how to deal with the media and the psychologists emphasising the importance of being positive - how else does he deal with this interview - bow down & worship at the altar of Steyn & co. more to your liking?? Give him a break - he just regurgitated the same kind of stuff that we've been hearing from ALL professional sportspersons for the last 10-years or so (and people wonder where all of the "characters" have gone). Only time will tell if he is truly up to the challenge that is Test cricket.

  • SDHM on July 29, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    @Liam Kenna - I agree with you. Moving Prior up to 6 and bring Woakes in at 7 strengthens the bowling without weakening the batting massively. You then have the safety net to bring in Finn for either Broad or Bresnan, both of whom made a good case for being dropped in the last Test - Broad is massively down on pace for one reason or another, and Bresnan has lost any sort of zip he had before the elbow injury. Woakes has 240 wickets at 24 and 6 centuries - the man can obviously play! The other option would be to bring in Compton into no.4 perhaps, and move KP & Bell down a spot - Bell has played the majority of his best innings for England at 6, and KP's never quite played with the same freedom at 4 as he did at 5. Don't think either of them would take kindly to being shunted down the order for a debutant though! That said, I hope JT performs well if picked - he doesn't deserve it on form, but he is the best young batsman in the country and has a long Test career in front of him.

  • biffo1963 on July 29, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    Taylor is a great prospect but you have to feel a little sorry for him being fed to the lions like this. Hopefully he won't be judged on one or two tests against a rampant RSA, but I'm confident Flower has more class than that. In the meantime, you never know - small bloke against fast bowling, it's worked before !

  • gudolerhum on July 29, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    England need to have a look at their resources. Several of the present crop are definitely nearing, if not at, their BB date. KP certainly is more concerned with himself and how he looks than playing serious cricket & is trying to prove some obscure point to SA - they are laughing. I hope James will succeed but he can't unless he gets a fair run in the squad and why is there no room for Compton? Another case of England wasting a talent. This SA squad is a bit too much for England who have gone off the boil at the moment.

  • yorkshirematt on July 29, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @Spelele "This kid" has just been picked to play test cricket for England, of course he's looking forward to it. In what way is a young lad looking forward to his test debut the sign of someone with a big mouth?!!!

  • phoenixsteve on July 29, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Good luck to JT. He deserves his chance and his attitude seems good. I can't seem to find out what has happened to ravi who surely deserves a longer run? As good as SA were in the first test they are far from invincible but we need to score team 5-600s to put them under pressure. Maybe JT will debut with a big daddy ton...... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • on July 29, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    I think we should of gone for Woakes as I said in my The Middle Stump article.

  • on July 29, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Spelele mate, you're better than this, don't lower yourself to that sort of drivel! He is a consistent run-scorer and a real talent, not sure how he has a big mouth. He has to do these interviews, and he's not gonna go on record and say he's scared is he?! Personally I don't see a lot wrong with the interview, he's handled it well. Give him a break.

  • on July 29, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    it is nice to include young blood in england test side ... he has decent avg. in first class,list A and in T20 also .. so i think he deserves for it ..

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 29, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Randy, I simply must point out that Taylor is better than anything Australia have or have produced in the last three years. Says a lot, considering he can't even make the England test side. Those years must have been difficult for you. And so it must continue presently for you. Those Ashes feel great!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 29, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Sorry James, but I hope your legbreaks are much better than your stats say. Playing four bowlers against SA is suicide! With bits-and-pieces bowlers like Bopara, Bell, KP, Trott in the team, I can't ever see England going for 5-1-5. But now that Bopara is out, this leaves a hole in the bowling and not just the batting (not that our no. 6 has consistently helped with either...). I wish it was Finn, Woakes or Onions instead of Taylor for the next match, with the likes of Taylor and Compton given chances when one of our batsmen fail/drop-out.

  • venkatesh018 on July 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Disappointed for Bopara. He deserved a longer run. He didn't play that badly at the Oval to get the brickbats aimed at him this past week. But I think by circumstances rather than design, England have found the right man for the No.6 spot. James Taylor is a fine, confident young player who should serve England very well in the longer run.

  • 777aditya on July 29, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    if James manages to score even a fifty against this supermen RSA attack, they will call him Bond!

  • RandyOZ on July 29, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Good luck to the young man. Considering the alarming lack of depth in the English batting ranks, highlighted by Bairstow being shown up by the lowly West Indians, they definitely need someone to fire, and preferably an Englishman, given the whole KP saga.

  • Spelele on July 29, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Oh whatever! This kid seems to have a really big mouth! We shall see just how much he 'relishes' the challenge when Steyn and Co. are breathing fire come Thursday! I suspect that he will turn out to be just another no.6 failure for England (that position is cursed after the unjust dropping of Collingwood). Expect him to follow the Bopara route and be another one of Steyn's bunnies :)

  • ian45 on July 29, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Mr Steyn And Mr Morkel will be waiting for you too james, think you have what it takes against the fastest attack on the planet, we dont, say goodbye to the series england

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  • ian45 on July 29, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Mr Steyn And Mr Morkel will be waiting for you too james, think you have what it takes against the fastest attack on the planet, we dont, say goodbye to the series england

  • Spelele on July 29, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Oh whatever! This kid seems to have a really big mouth! We shall see just how much he 'relishes' the challenge when Steyn and Co. are breathing fire come Thursday! I suspect that he will turn out to be just another no.6 failure for England (that position is cursed after the unjust dropping of Collingwood). Expect him to follow the Bopara route and be another one of Steyn's bunnies :)

  • RandyOZ on July 29, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Good luck to the young man. Considering the alarming lack of depth in the English batting ranks, highlighted by Bairstow being shown up by the lowly West Indians, they definitely need someone to fire, and preferably an Englishman, given the whole KP saga.

  • 777aditya on July 29, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    if James manages to score even a fifty against this supermen RSA attack, they will call him Bond!

  • venkatesh018 on July 29, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Disappointed for Bopara. He deserved a longer run. He didn't play that badly at the Oval to get the brickbats aimed at him this past week. But I think by circumstances rather than design, England have found the right man for the No.6 spot. James Taylor is a fine, confident young player who should serve England very well in the longer run.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 29, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Sorry James, but I hope your legbreaks are much better than your stats say. Playing four bowlers against SA is suicide! With bits-and-pieces bowlers like Bopara, Bell, KP, Trott in the team, I can't ever see England going for 5-1-5. But now that Bopara is out, this leaves a hole in the bowling and not just the batting (not that our no. 6 has consistently helped with either...). I wish it was Finn, Woakes or Onions instead of Taylor for the next match, with the likes of Taylor and Compton given chances when one of our batsmen fail/drop-out.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 29, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Randy, I simply must point out that Taylor is better than anything Australia have or have produced in the last three years. Says a lot, considering he can't even make the England test side. Those years must have been difficult for you. And so it must continue presently for you. Those Ashes feel great!

  • on July 29, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    it is nice to include young blood in england test side ... he has decent avg. in first class,list A and in T20 also .. so i think he deserves for it ..

  • on July 29, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Spelele mate, you're better than this, don't lower yourself to that sort of drivel! He is a consistent run-scorer and a real talent, not sure how he has a big mouth. He has to do these interviews, and he's not gonna go on record and say he's scared is he?! Personally I don't see a lot wrong with the interview, he's handled it well. Give him a break.

  • on July 29, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    I think we should of gone for Woakes as I said in my The Middle Stump article.