The Investec Ashes 2013 July 24, 2013

Taylor given chance against Australians

ESPNcricinfo staff
62

James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire batsman, has been given the perfect platform to stake his case for selection in the third Investec Test after he was included in the Sussex side to play a three-day match against Australia.

England may have to call on a middle-order batsman for Old Trafford if Kevin Pietersen does not recover from a calf strain that ruled him out of the final two days of the Lord's Test. The third Test begins on August 1.

Taylor's county, Nottinghamshire, have no County Championship fixtures before the third Test so an agreement was reached between the England management and Nottinghamshire to allow Taylor to play for Sussex in the tour match starting on Friday.

"This will provide James with a valuable opportunity to play in a longer format of the game while we consider our options ahead of the third Test next week," England team director Andy Flower said. "Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and a decision about his availability for the Test will be made nearer the time."

Pietersen is likely to recover from his injury but the decision to provide an opportunity for Taylor to face Australia indicates he is England's preferred option should they need a replacement. It also indicates they are not certain Pietersen will be available.

Taylor, a diminutive right-hander who began his career at Leicestershire, was handed a Test debut against South Africa at Headingley last season and made 34 in the first innings, sharing a partnership of 147 with Pietersen that got England back into the match. But after 10 and 4 in the third Test at Lord's he was left out of the tour party for India.

His work over the winter, when he toured Australia with England Lions, did not produce immediate dividends on tour, but it has produced results this season with 824 runs in the County Championship at 58.85 including 204 not out against Sussex. He has also made 456 runs in seven Yorkshire Bank 40 matches.

His guest appearance for Sussex rules Taylor out of Nottinghamshire's final two Friends Life t20 group matches against Yorkshire on Friday and Lancashire on Sunday. Notts currently sit top of the North group but are yet to secure a quarter-final berth.

"I'm hopeful that KP will be fit to play and, as it stands, I'm preparing to play in the three-day game for Sussex and nothing more," 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.

"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."

Taylor has scored 196 runs in the competition but his director of cricket, Mick Newell is fully supportive of his England ambitions. "We want to provide James the best possible opportunity to be prepared to play in the third Test should he be required," Newell said. "While clearly he is an important player for us and will be missed on Friday and Sunday we have a proud record of producing players for England.

"We remain in close contact with James and the ECB regarding the situation and hope that he can make a contribution and be selected."

England have previously inserted players into different teams for match practise. Earlier this summer Nick Compton was allowed to play for Worcestershire against Australia, although it didn't help his quest for selection for the first Test against Australia, and in 2011 Andrew Strauss played for Somerset against India to try and regain form.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nutcutlet on July 24, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    We're getting used to it. Players who need a run out with the possibility of a Test place in the offing are guesting for counties playing the tourists in fixtures that fit in with the schedule. Smart work. These opportunites don't go a-begging when it comes to Flower's management of the national team. James Taylor has earned the opportunity to impress the selectors, but I would like to think that his selection doesn't stand or fall simply on a single guest appearance. I'm sure it doesn't as that is not the England way these days - neither must his lack of inches count against him. Some of the greatest bats of all time have been relatively short men. I hope he does well as I think that he has the class & temperament to succeed at the highest level.

  • on July 26, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    I think, irrespective of his calf strain, Pietersen should be dropped anyway. He just doesn't seem 'with-it' mentally for me. Has no one considered putting Compton back in to open with Root and then drop Cook to 3? Cook seems to be having problem with the new ball.

  • JG2704 on July 26, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @ Guernica on (July 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT) Shame for Magoffin too I guess

  • Guernica on July 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Well, Luke Wright is obviously not in the reckoning - he's not even in the squad for this game. Shame as it would have been a good chance for him to impress. No Joyce or Magoffin either (or Prior obviously), so Sussex well below full strength. Hope Panesar and Jordan get a game.

  • JG2704 on July 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @sockington on (July 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT) Strange post there. Being that July has in recent years been a poor month for weather , how do you work out that the best weather was Saved for T20? Even the weather forecasters didn't know about this heatwave until it was actually happening

  • sockington on July 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    this is absolutely ridiculous. Sending a player to a different county to play against the touring side - not on. Perhaps if the cretins running the domestic game didn't save the best weather for that pub league slog garbage, and instead used it for county cricket, this situation wouldn't happen.

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Sorry was thinking Kerrigan had some abilty with the bat, I must have got him mixed up with Gary Ballance. Doh !

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    I don't think he will make a Test cricketer this lad. I think he will end up the classic example of someone who excels at County level but can't/won't make the step up(no pun intended) to international cricket. He looked way out of his depth v SA at Headingley(yes he got 32 but it was a real struggle for him all innings, was almost painful to watch. I'd rather we bought in another spinner like Kerrigan as he has some ability with the bat and will of course be playing on his home ground, so knows the wkt inside out.

    But it won't happen so I shall fully support him should he play and I hope he rams my words down my throat and begins to look the part, but I just can't see it happening I'm afraid.

  • Iddo555 on July 25, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    I think Bairstow got picked because England see him as a long term replacement for Prior. Bairstow is a wicket keeper and hopefully one day will turn out to be a good wicket keeper batsmen. This lad is doing all the right things, he's keeping his head down, working hard and making big runs, he can't do any more but wait for his chance

  • on July 25, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    I'm a huge fan of Taylor, but Robert Henderson, you need to compare to Gary Ballance's stats. I think Taylor's the more proven player, but even so, he has valid rivals. I just wish Morgan, Bopara and Patel would be ignored rather than the younger players with more talent.

  • Nutcutlet on July 24, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    We're getting used to it. Players who need a run out with the possibility of a Test place in the offing are guesting for counties playing the tourists in fixtures that fit in with the schedule. Smart work. These opportunites don't go a-begging when it comes to Flower's management of the national team. James Taylor has earned the opportunity to impress the selectors, but I would like to think that his selection doesn't stand or fall simply on a single guest appearance. I'm sure it doesn't as that is not the England way these days - neither must his lack of inches count against him. Some of the greatest bats of all time have been relatively short men. I hope he does well as I think that he has the class & temperament to succeed at the highest level.

  • on July 26, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    I think, irrespective of his calf strain, Pietersen should be dropped anyway. He just doesn't seem 'with-it' mentally for me. Has no one considered putting Compton back in to open with Root and then drop Cook to 3? Cook seems to be having problem with the new ball.

  • JG2704 on July 26, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @ Guernica on (July 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT) Shame for Magoffin too I guess

  • Guernica on July 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Well, Luke Wright is obviously not in the reckoning - he's not even in the squad for this game. Shame as it would have been a good chance for him to impress. No Joyce or Magoffin either (or Prior obviously), so Sussex well below full strength. Hope Panesar and Jordan get a game.

  • JG2704 on July 26, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @sockington on (July 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT) Strange post there. Being that July has in recent years been a poor month for weather , how do you work out that the best weather was Saved for T20? Even the weather forecasters didn't know about this heatwave until it was actually happening

  • sockington on July 25, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    this is absolutely ridiculous. Sending a player to a different county to play against the touring side - not on. Perhaps if the cretins running the domestic game didn't save the best weather for that pub league slog garbage, and instead used it for county cricket, this situation wouldn't happen.

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Sorry was thinking Kerrigan had some abilty with the bat, I must have got him mixed up with Gary Ballance. Doh !

  • subbass on July 25, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    I don't think he will make a Test cricketer this lad. I think he will end up the classic example of someone who excels at County level but can't/won't make the step up(no pun intended) to international cricket. He looked way out of his depth v SA at Headingley(yes he got 32 but it was a real struggle for him all innings, was almost painful to watch. I'd rather we bought in another spinner like Kerrigan as he has some ability with the bat and will of course be playing on his home ground, so knows the wkt inside out.

    But it won't happen so I shall fully support him should he play and I hope he rams my words down my throat and begins to look the part, but I just can't see it happening I'm afraid.

  • Iddo555 on July 25, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    I think Bairstow got picked because England see him as a long term replacement for Prior. Bairstow is a wicket keeper and hopefully one day will turn out to be a good wicket keeper batsmen. This lad is doing all the right things, he's keeping his head down, working hard and making big runs, he can't do any more but wait for his chance

  • on July 25, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    I'm a huge fan of Taylor, but Robert Henderson, you need to compare to Gary Ballance's stats. I think Taylor's the more proven player, but even so, he has valid rivals. I just wish Morgan, Bopara and Patel would be ignored rather than the younger players with more talent.

  • on July 25, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    After growing up in the 1990s and being at school, watching Australia crush England, with their galaxy of stars, its so nice to see it the other way round. The likes of Tremlett and Finn struggle to make the final 11, and we now have 3 England batsman who are 22/23 challenging the experienced players. What a turnaround? Having witnessed the dark ages first hand, this could turn into a golden era. And such an era is defined by the quality of players who don't make it to the final team!

  • on July 25, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Taylor has an FC average of 47.83 and a list A average of 50.95. No other current England qualified player can match those figures. He should have gone to India last winter.

    It is Taylor';s character which is most impressive. He is only 23 yet has consistently made runs in county cricket since he was 20. Over and over again he has conquered new challenges and shown that he can climb the next rung on the cricketing ladder. Given the chance he will do so at international level.

  • jmcilhinney on July 25, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    @JG2704 on (July 25, 2013, 8:35 GMT), I have no issue with Bairstow being preferred over Taylor. I think that it was a close run thing in the first place but now that Bairstow is in the team I think that he's done enough to be persisted with. My comments about Taylor's stats were directed at those using them as justification for not including him at all. I don't think that his stats in the three innings he's had provide a compelling reason not to select him again and he seems a justified first choice if KP doesn't recover in time.

  • jmcilhinney on July 25, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    I think that you're going a bit over the top there. I agree that England's game against Essex ended rather farcically but that was because several of the Essex players were injured. Was it better to stick to FC rules and bat against part-timers or draft in some better players and at least get a bit of a workout? They made the best of a bad situation. As for England tours, I think that it's obvious from recent winters that several FC warmups are what England want to play if at all possible. As for counties playing Australia, who cares? Those games are there for the benefit of Australia, not the counties. Most counties don't put out their best XI so it's obvious that it's not a priority for them. If England can get some benefit from the game as well by looking at a player from a different county then all the better. If England played Qld in a warmup before the next Ashes, I doubt that they'd care if the team included a player from NSW so Australia could look him over.

  • Jaffa79 on July 25, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    As an England cricket fan, I have to be realistic, in that the future well being of English cricket is entirely down to the performance of the England cricket team. County cricket is pretty much subsidised by the revenue from the international game but at the same time, I really don't agree with how the England cricket team are making a mockery of the first class game by crowbarring in whoever they seem fit into touring fixtures, making the game little more than a glorified net for the person on show. Worse still was the shambles that was the Eng v Essex fixture. Switching players in and out like should never happen again as it ridicules the game itself. I do hope England also do not play any more 14 a side nonsense when they tour overseas. I remember when the touring Aussie team would play against all of the counties and it meant something.

  • SDHM on July 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @JG - I don't think Nick's out of the set-up completely. Again, it's all dependent on Bairstow; if England see him as Prior's back-up and replacement, then England will feel that they can take two spare batsmen on tour instead of one as they don't have to pick another wicket keeper, allowing them to pick both a top order and middle order replacement. If that's the case, I think both Compton & Taylor will tour Oz this winter, although Chopra's beginning to make a really strong case for the back-up opener's slot.

    @Liquefierrrr - some cracking young talent around that's for sure: the likes of Ballance, Kerrigan, Bell-Drummond, Overton, Lees and Thakor can all be added to that list. England need to make sure they don't make the same mistakes as Oz though and assume it will always be there: moves like incentivising counties to play young players aren't exactly helping strengthen the game if you ask me.

  • on July 25, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    "His work over the winter, when he toured Australia with England Lions, did not produce immediate dividends on tour"

    He was the top England runs scorer over seven games, scored 331 runs, one century, and averaged 55. By contrast, Simon Kerrigan, a chap who has been given lots of 'future England spinner' tags recently, got 4 wickets in 7 matches at 60. I'd say Taylor produced plenty and certainly more than the much-heralded Ben Stokes didn't do much more than getting sent home for lousy discipline. Stokes seeming;y has been forgiven as he has represented England this season.

    Taylor deserves his chance .

  • jmcilhinney on July 25, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    I agree that Bairstow hasn't set the world on fire but he's done some good things and I believe that he'll go on to have a long and successful career. It looked apparent against WI last summer that he had an issue against good short-pitched bowling. He obviously worked on that immediately and it seemed to be a thing of the past in the very next series against SA, who are at least as capable as anyone when it comes to good short-pitched bowling. It's now apparent that he has an issue with full, straight fast bowling as he's playing across it. I back him to work on that and pretty much eradicate that from his game too. As landl47 said, after his let-off against Siddle, he looked to be concentrating on playing straight to those balls from then on. Now that he's aware of the issue he'll continue to concentrate on playing that way and it will become second nature soon enough. If he hadn't been selected yet then those issues may not have surfaced for some time and been harder to work out.

  • JG2704 on July 25, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (July 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT) Yeah but still don't see Nick being included again - or at least for some time - . Eng still didn't stick with him after he scored a couple of 50s vs Aus so if we're talking logical , that means he has to go out and do a whole lot more to get back in. Not that Eng always do logical

    @jmcilhinney on (July 25, 2013, 1:51 GMT) I think I may have mentioned about JT's stats and of course the stats don't tell the whole story , but while JT may be deserving of another opportunity , my stats were aimed towards someone who said JT could come in for JB. JB has also been involved in (potential game changing partnerships) and this year and both led to wins

  • JG2704 on July 25, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 24, 2013, 20:39 GMT) Re NC , I'm pretty sure he was regularly playing at 3 or 4 last season when he got all his runs. Not sure if we're back to CC next week or still doing T20s. If the former then I want Nick to be overlooked , if the latter then Eng should pick him Seriously though , I genuinely can't see Morgan being tried again at this stage. Not sure if he's even played any CC cricket this season. I'm about to post a few names on the related thread , after going through the averages

  • landl47 on July 25, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    It's disappointing to see people writing off Bairstow when I thought it was clear that he knows his deficiencies and is working diligently to correct them. His defence was much tighter than I've seen it before and he was working hard to eliminate the closed-face shot from his repertoire. He was lucky in that the one time he played it and was bowled it was off a no-ball, but after that he played admirably straight.

    He's also a brilliant fielder (for that reason I don't believe he'll ever be England's W/K) and an unselfish player. I think he's coming on very well and at 23 is still years away from his best. Taylor's a good prospect, too, but I'll back Bairstow to have the better test career.

  • landl47 on July 25, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    England have to look ahead 18 months. I rate the chances of KP continuing to play for England after the 2015 World Cup as approximately zero. He will retire from international cricket and make a ton of money for the next 5 years renting himself out to various T20 leagues all over the world.

    The next generation includes Taylor, Ballance (and hhillbumper, if you think he's 'slightly disappointing' you haven't seen him play), hopefully Stokes as an all-rounder, Foakes as W/K/batsman and no doubt one or two others, like perhaps Alex Lees, whose 3rd century in 12 FC innings was 275* and who only just turned 20 and Shiv Thakor, still a teenager but batting very well for Leicester.

    Add those to Cook, still only 28, Root and Bairstow and the future looks bright. It's a good time for Taylor to get some more experience.

  • on July 25, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    While I'm a fan of Somerset and Compton, I think all talk of him coming back into the side should be put to rest. Not going to happen. Rightly or wrongly, his test career is over, and speculation over it will no more help him than it did the likes of Carberry or Key, both of whom deserved more chances. The selectors probably only ever wanted him for India, but as he did better than expected they had to keep him in. A couple of fails and he was dropped immediately, proving he was playing on borrowed time. James Taylor represents the future, and probably is the long-term successor to Ian Bell at five, whereas Bairstow is more like to stay at six or even keep if Buttler doesn't come through. Personally I think JT should be in ahead of JB as it is, but his chance will inevitably come and hopefully he'll have the long and successful England career that his talent deserves.

  • jmcilhinney on July 25, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    @RoBoBobster on (July 24, 2013, 18:22 GMT), good question. I would guess not but, given his performance with the bat in the first two Tests, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea. He's one of those "that's the way he plays" kind of players though, and he doesn't exactly look out of form so a big score could be just over the horizon.

  • jmcilhinney on July 25, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (July 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT), I'm not arguing that Taylor's Test returns have been fantastic but he actually only batted in 3 innings, not 4, and one of his failures was due to being run out by Trott. That 34 was also probably a bit more valuable than it looks because he provided a steady presence at the other end while KP was going nuts. That certainly doesn't make him a shoe-in but it's also not as poor a return as some have implied.

    Also, Taylor playing for Sussex doesn't inconvenience Sussex, England or Australia, it is quite selfless from Notts, given that it could impact their T20 hopes.

  • on July 25, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    I am totally behind the england selection of james taylor but how about resting prior and let bairstow keep that would allow JT and pietersen to play with the young talented joe root and a nother young gun james taylor

  • Liquefierrrr on July 24, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Another hugely impressive English talent. I remember trawling the county stats about 2 years ago and I found this lad, Ben Stokes, Bairstow, Danny Briggs, Toby Roland-Jones, Chris Woakes and Sam Robson.

    IMO you can now add to that list Ben Foakes and Reece Topley.

    As an Aussie, that was a gut-wrenching discovery. Not only were the current crop of Test players, at the time of my 'investigation', better than our current crop, the next in line were better too in all fields. Some of the above have already had exposure at all levels, some have dipped their toes into the shorter formats and the others are being groomed via the Lions. All will play a part for England in the coming years I feel.

    I wish Taylor well. Seems like a good kid with a very steady temperament. Those who mock his size need only to look at the GIANT of the game in Tendulkar. I'm not running Taylor alongside him for ability per se, however Tendulkar proves that height is just a number.

    Australia, prepare for darkness.

  • AshesErnie on July 24, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    JT is a class player and deserves his chance. To look at his four Test scores in isolation is a mistake; at Headingley he played the perfect foil to KP on fire - an increasingly rare event - and at Lord's I recall him being victim of a filthy run out by Trott. JT should have gone to India and, if he had, lots of things might look different now.

  • SamWintson92 on July 24, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Eng should play Eng Lions (Eng A) side consisting of fringe players rather than county side against the touring international team. As a consequence, the reserve players will be ready whenever they get a call in the XI.

  • whoster on July 24, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    I agree that Bairstow hasn't cemented his place, despite having done pretty well in the series so far. He had a big slice of luck with the Siddle no-ball, which highlighted his weakness in hitting across the line to full, straight balls. He deserves credit for going on to make 67 though. I think Taylor would only play if KP is injured, but Bairstow needs to bat with more authority to nail his place down. Taylor looks the obvious stand-by - he's got Test experience under his belt, and has scored plenty of runs this season. Hopefully KP will be fit and serve up one of his specials to demorlize the Aussies even more.

  • CricketingStargazer on July 24, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @JG2704 That was my point. His recent form is not quite so unarguable as people think, nor were his returns in his two opportunities last summer quite such a triumph as people have suggested, as a top score of 34 in 4 innings indicates. He is being given an opportunity to stake a claim, not the divine right to a place. If he were a shoe-in, he would not need this opportunity.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 24, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    @JG2704 (post on July 24, 2013, 18:37 GMT): Yeah that was exactly my initial thinking as well, but then as I said on the other thread (Four vie for chance...) I don't like the idea of playing Compton at 3/4 - and I doubt the selectors will want to move Root back down after Lords. I think replacements should try to be as 'like-for-like' as possible, unless England REALLY surprise us all and try the 5-1-5 (or even try to blood new all-rounders like Woakes/Stokes/Borthwick). As long as it aint Morgan, it's all good...

  • 512fm on July 24, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    Why can't they just make all these first class games against an England XI?? Sides rarely put out their regular first class team

  • hhillbumper on July 24, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    I think Taylor should be brought in and bedded in for a few tests.he has potential and can play all formats. Bet he won't though.Is there a slightly disappointing Saffa/Zim player. Hey up here comes Ballance. As for the Broad baiters. He has batted well and has bowled well.But for a couople of drops he would have done better and actually seems to be bowling well at the moment.

  • JG2704 on July 24, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    Not being funny but aren't we all jumping the gun a bit , presuming JT will replace KP (presuming he is still injured) based on him guesting for Sussex vs Aus? I seem to remember another player scoring a 50 vs Aus for his own county and then again when guesting for another county (at Eng's request) and then being told he was not required - despite the 2 players vying for the 2 spots failing vs Essex. I'm not saying that was the wrong decision long term but putting 2 and 2 together as far as Eng are concerned doesn't always make 4

    Everyone knows I like the idea of going 5/1/5 but I can see more reasons for sticking with the 6/1/4 formation right now. Going 5/1/5 would still give bowlers a better rest but it seems the Aus top order are helping in that dept too.

  • JG2704 on July 24, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @howdle on (July 24, 2013, 15:51 GMT) Maybe JT is the long term solution , but right now JB averages just 2 less than him in 1st class cricket but (albeit in more tests) has double the average and +20 on the SR. Will also say that he's played a few backs to the wall inns and been part of several potential game changing partnerships. Also , surely he is thought of as the long term replacement to Prior

  • RoBoBobster on July 24, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    as I'm going to the game, does anyone know if Prior is playing?

  • CricketingStargazer on July 24, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    This is pragmatic, as usual, from the England management. Sussex will, almost certainly, field their "best available XI" which, strangely, will consist of a handful of 1st XI players, various fringe players from the 2nd XI and a couple of debutant juniors. Putting in Taylor inconveniences no one (do the Sussex members really want to see a match against a scratch XI that will finish in 2 days with hardly any of their favourites playing?) and will allow Taylor to get an innings to show his form. Since his last two First Class matches have produced innings of 5, 80 & 2, his good form is not quite such a given as is suggested; recently he has played mainly T20 anyway, which is hopeless prepararion for Tests.

    It is an interesting selection. It may almost be more a message to KP - if you don't play, or you don't show some form, we'll put in one of your "mates" instead - just to gee him up a bit.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 24, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    @Basingrad, whats wrong with Bairstow? Isuppose you forgot his 90 odd against SA at Lords, and in the last test he was told to go out an swing the bat on Sunday morning which is what he did.

    Hes also Matt priors understudy, so they're giving him time to get used to test pressures and also work with Bruce French who helped prior develop his glove work.

    I tihnk it will be a straight swap Taylor for KP.

  • howdle on July 24, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    I'm looking forward to seeing Taylor for england again. He could replace Bairstow if Pietersen comes back the test after because Bairstow hasn't looked confident at the crease despite a few decent scores and a few decent opportunities. Bairstow needs a few more seasons with Yorkshire before hes ready for test cricket I feel. Taylor on the other hand has had that extra time in FC cricket and hes probably better for it.

    Plus I wouldnt mind Bairstow in Yorkshire's team as they push for the title even though our batting has looked good this season.

  • MartinC on July 24, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    I expect Pietersen to be fit for Old Trafford - it must have been a slight strain or he would not have been able to bat in the second innings and the timetable for a slight strain is normally 7-10 days. Tight and he can't afford any set backs but I think he will be OK.

    If he does come up short though I'm pleased to see Taylor get another shot - I rate him and think he has a long term future as part of this team.

  • Basingrad on July 24, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    @Optic - that's rubbish. Bairstow has a fundamental technical flaw that is going to get him out regularly; Taylor is just slightly unorthodox, mainly due to being 5 foot nothing. In some ways, he resembles a right-handed Chanderpaul, who is nobody's idea of classical but does not have any sort of readily identifiable weakness that you would look to exploit as a bowler. He also appears to share Chanderpaul's intelligence, adaptability and coolness at the crease. I am sure he will be successful in the long term - more sure than I am about Bairstow.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 24, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Fantastic news for England: Warner is doing well! He will no doubt be rushed back into the Ashes team now, and that's another easy wicket for England's bowlers.

  • colc on July 24, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    If he does play, not batting with Pieterson will help him enormously. He's a bit different to your typical English player, but from what I've seen of him, he has the same ability as Joe Root to bat as circumstances dictate. His statistics in all 3 disciplines of games this season are terrific.

  • on July 24, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Can't see England ever departing from 4 bowlers, but for me the risk is that they're obviously not immune from injury and it would be worth picking 5 and feather-bedding them to try and keep them all fit.

    In the olden days you had proper slow medium pacers. The closest you get to that now is a batter like Bopara, Trott or Collingwood trundling for 10 overs max.

    We have an allrounder keeper of course and I think our batting would still be strong with him at 6. Maybe golden boy Root is the answer but do they want to give him 20 overs an innings? When you have 6 batsmen then Prior then Broad my hunch is that there is a bit less pressure to protect your wicket like you would if you knew the batting really ended at 6.

    South Africa are the benchmark now. As long as the current core of the England side perform to their ability they will win this series at a canter.

  • on July 24, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    Taylor is the logical pick as the "next cab off the rank" but I'm a bit uneasy about players being loaned to other counties. If they're going to play Taylor in this game, then why not Onions too? He could do with some bowling. I would rather see the tourists playing a Lions XI (or MCC XI or even the Giles Clarke Invitational XI!) between Tests, or even better, a full round of 4 day games, which hopefully will be the case when the T20 is revamped next year. Certainly don't want to see another farce like Essex v England!

  • Optic on July 24, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    @ irishwolfhound KP's been a 'flop' and he's had long stretched of finding form that 'defines his career', oh really? because you're wrong. For a start we've had 2 test matches, he's had one poor test, that happens. In the first test he made what was in essence a match winning knock of 64. Moving on to you're other point which is frankly bizarre, if you look at his year on year stats he's been the most consistent England batsmen of the last few decades. His yearly averages have been 45, 54, 50, 51, 48, 42, 73, 44, and so far this year he's played 4 tests and managed to get injured in 2 of them. I bet other players wish they could have stretches finding form the way he does. Amazing how quick people forget his last years all time great knocks.

    As for 5 bowlers lol, What exactly is the point when atm one of the 4 bowlers gets under bowled. Also if you haven't noticed we haven't had a problem, bowling them out, we've needed to score more runs. So you're answer to this is another bowler.

  • trav29 on July 24, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    @abhinav I assume you are commenting on broad as a result of looking at the scorecard rather than having watched any of the game live. he made a useful 30odd with the bat in the first innings and then bowled well in both Australian innings without much luck, had a couple of catches dropped and looked far more threatening than bresnan who got 2 of his wickets off balls that were close to being wides and a 3rd from one that was clearly missing but got lucky with the umpire.

  • pom_don on July 24, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    @Abinav Aeron You obviously did not see the match then, re. Broad he did not take wickets however he bowled really well which sometimes happens, Woakes on the other hand has not looked anywhere near test quality, BTW I like Woakes but he is not the real deal.....yet!

  • on July 24, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Chris Woakes deserve an Ashes chance after an absolutely rubbish performance by Stuart Broad

  • Optic on July 24, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Well if people think Bairstow has got technical flaws, they'll love this lad. Personally even though he's done well this year at Notts, I think the Aussie bowler with seriously work him over.

  • SDHM on July 24, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    @Deuce03 - Compton certainly isn't out of the set-up completely, but he was never likely to be selected in this case. Flower all but confirmed him to be injury cover for Cook, Root & Trott when it was revealed Root was going to open in this series.

  • ARad on July 24, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    If Taylor performs well and Bairstow fails once again (let's not forget that Bairstow would have been clean bowled for a low score once again if the bowler's foot had landed just a centimeter behind during the first innings of the Lords Test), I would like to see Taylor back at #6 for England. Bairstow looks like a walking wicket but Taylor is a gritty fighter. Bairstow does not seem to show any progress after Ten tests but Taylor also has a better FC average, more FC centuries and has been performing admirably for the Lions against touring teams or A teams. Taylor deserves a longer run.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 24, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    What a fantastic opportunity to give a young fringe player a run in the sun against a demoralised Aus. bunch. I too would love to see 5-1-5, but it will never happen - so fantastic opportunity for Taylor/Chopra or whomever it may be... Can't do any worse than KP surely?

  • Deuce03 on July 24, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    @irishwolfhound Not the old fifth bowler chestnut again?! In this instance it makes even less sense than usual. There are plenty of good reasons not to go with five bowlers and five batsmen in any series, but given that England's weakness so far has been the batting, and Australia's strength the bowling, it makes rather more sense to shore up the batting than it does to try to augment a bowling attack that already has the Australians well under the cosh. On the series results to date, the difference between the sides is rather smaller in batting than in bowling; batting is therefore the area that needs reinforcement.

    It's a bit of a shame not to see Compton given another go, but it seems the selectors have made their mind up that Cook/Root is the opening partnership of the future and it's hard to argue. You could even make the argument that the omission of a batsman of Compton's undoubted FC calibre is an indicator of the strength of English cricket right now.

  • trav29 on July 24, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @irishwolfhound given we haven't been struggling to bowl Australia out with the 4 bowlers why do we need a 5th ? we have been 30odd for 3 in the last couple of innings so wouldn't losing a batsmen be a huge risk to play a 5th bowler that isn't really needed ?

  • TurningSquare on July 24, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    If the Aussies thought they had their work cut out with Joe Root then welcome to the stage James Taylor.Another of our young stars to help form a formidable future batting line-up for years to come when Bell & Co have moved on.

  • edrich on July 24, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Regardless of whether he replaces an unfit KP or not I would prefer him to Bairstow. Cook,Root,Trott,KP,Bell,Taylor,Prior etc looks to me the way forward.

  • jmcilhinney on July 24, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Taylor was an excellent foil for KP during that partnership and it's also worth remembering that he was run out by Trott in one of his other innings. His introduction to Test cricket was not as bad as it appears from the figures. Bairstow performed better against SA and that's probably a big reason that he has been preferred to Taylor since. This is a fairly clear indication that Taylor is considered to be next in line though, despite not being in any performance squad. England indicated that they wanted him to score runs in division 1 and that's exactly what he's doing. He seems to be a good choice if KP doesn't recover in time. If nothing else, it would be nice for England to know that they have another batsman in form and ready to go if someone gets injured over the rest of these back to back Ashes. As has bee said by others, it's also a healthy situation that KP might be out and noone feels the need to panic.

  • wrenx on July 24, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Not to be too hard on Taylor, but I don't see the reason to include him. Pietersen's been a flop, going back to the long stretches of "finding form" that pretty much define his career. If Australia's weakness is their batting, why not press the advantage by picking a 5th bowler? Prior can move up, the promotion may do him some good and England can pick Onions to keep the bowling pressure up and make it so they force wins if they're serious about a whitewash.

  • on July 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Good luck Titch, but only a double ton would stop KP getting picked straight after he is fit.. (Hope you do it!)

  • SDHM on July 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Absolutely made up for the young man. He's such a quality cricketer - not technically perfect, but gritty, difficult to bowl to and able to adapt to any given situation: if the teams needs him to dig in and bat time he does, and if they need him to go after quick runs he can do that just fine too. I read somewhere that England think he's too short to be a Test batsman, which I think is balderdash. Must be incredibly difficult for batsman to switch lines and lengths from bowling to a tall batsman like Cook or KP to a short one like Taylor. Whilst obviously it all may be moot if KP regains fitness, if Taylor gets his chance, I really, really hope he goes well.

  • SDHM on July 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Absolutely made up for the young man. He's such a quality cricketer - not technically perfect, but gritty, difficult to bowl to and able to adapt to any given situation: if the teams needs him to dig in and bat time he does, and if they need him to go after quick runs he can do that just fine too. I read somewhere that England think he's too short to be a Test batsman, which I think is balderdash. Must be incredibly difficult for batsman to switch lines and lengths from bowling to a tall batsman like Cook or KP to a short one like Taylor. Whilst obviously it all may be moot if KP regains fitness, if Taylor gets his chance, I really, really hope he goes well.

  • on July 24, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Good luck Titch, but only a double ton would stop KP getting picked straight after he is fit.. (Hope you do it!)

  • wrenx on July 24, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Not to be too hard on Taylor, but I don't see the reason to include him. Pietersen's been a flop, going back to the long stretches of "finding form" that pretty much define his career. If Australia's weakness is their batting, why not press the advantage by picking a 5th bowler? Prior can move up, the promotion may do him some good and England can pick Onions to keep the bowling pressure up and make it so they force wins if they're serious about a whitewash.

  • jmcilhinney on July 24, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Taylor was an excellent foil for KP during that partnership and it's also worth remembering that he was run out by Trott in one of his other innings. His introduction to Test cricket was not as bad as it appears from the figures. Bairstow performed better against SA and that's probably a big reason that he has been preferred to Taylor since. This is a fairly clear indication that Taylor is considered to be next in line though, despite not being in any performance squad. England indicated that they wanted him to score runs in division 1 and that's exactly what he's doing. He seems to be a good choice if KP doesn't recover in time. If nothing else, it would be nice for England to know that they have another batsman in form and ready to go if someone gets injured over the rest of these back to back Ashes. As has bee said by others, it's also a healthy situation that KP might be out and noone feels the need to panic.

  • edrich on July 24, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Regardless of whether he replaces an unfit KP or not I would prefer him to Bairstow. Cook,Root,Trott,KP,Bell,Taylor,Prior etc looks to me the way forward.

  • TurningSquare on July 24, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    If the Aussies thought they had their work cut out with Joe Root then welcome to the stage James Taylor.Another of our young stars to help form a formidable future batting line-up for years to come when Bell & Co have moved on.

  • trav29 on July 24, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    @irishwolfhound given we haven't been struggling to bowl Australia out with the 4 bowlers why do we need a 5th ? we have been 30odd for 3 in the last couple of innings so wouldn't losing a batsmen be a huge risk to play a 5th bowler that isn't really needed ?

  • Deuce03 on July 24, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    @irishwolfhound Not the old fifth bowler chestnut again?! In this instance it makes even less sense than usual. There are plenty of good reasons not to go with five bowlers and five batsmen in any series, but given that England's weakness so far has been the batting, and Australia's strength the bowling, it makes rather more sense to shore up the batting than it does to try to augment a bowling attack that already has the Australians well under the cosh. On the series results to date, the difference between the sides is rather smaller in batting than in bowling; batting is therefore the area that needs reinforcement.

    It's a bit of a shame not to see Compton given another go, but it seems the selectors have made their mind up that Cook/Root is the opening partnership of the future and it's hard to argue. You could even make the argument that the omission of a batsman of Compton's undoubted FC calibre is an indicator of the strength of English cricket right now.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 24, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    What a fantastic opportunity to give a young fringe player a run in the sun against a demoralised Aus. bunch. I too would love to see 5-1-5, but it will never happen - so fantastic opportunity for Taylor/Chopra or whomever it may be... Can't do any worse than KP surely?

  • ARad on July 24, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    If Taylor performs well and Bairstow fails once again (let's not forget that Bairstow would have been clean bowled for a low score once again if the bowler's foot had landed just a centimeter behind during the first innings of the Lords Test), I would like to see Taylor back at #6 for England. Bairstow looks like a walking wicket but Taylor is a gritty fighter. Bairstow does not seem to show any progress after Ten tests but Taylor also has a better FC average, more FC centuries and has been performing admirably for the Lions against touring teams or A teams. Taylor deserves a longer run.