Kevin Pietersen rattled off potshots at several former England team-mates in his recent autobiography but one of his targets had a right to feel more wronged than most. James Taylor only played once alongside Pietersen - and they put on 147 runs together - but that didn't stop Pietersen from recording his reservations about the diminutive Nottinghamshire batsman.
Pietersen described Taylor as more suited to being a jockey like his father, though he has denied criticising Taylor's ability while in the England dressing room. Taylor, who will get another chance to establish himself on the forthcoming Sri Lanka tour, admitted to hearing about Pietersen's comments second-hand but said he was used to being "slagged off" by people who doubted him.
"Yes, apparently he did. But it doesn't really bother me at all, I'm sure plenty of people have said things behind my back before and it will happen again," Taylor said. "It was a few years ago and I haven't spoken to him since and it doesn't really bother me. Plenty of people have slagged me off behind my back and he's just another one of them."
Geoffrey Boycott, the former England batsman now a prominent voice in the media, has been another to suggest Taylor is too small to succeed at international level - despite Taylor being roughly the same height as Sachin Tendulkar. Taylor's 34 on Test debut against South Africa at Headingley, compiled as Pietersen blazed a century before being dropped over text messages sent to members of the opposition, hinted at his talent but he has found opportunities rare, playing just one other Test and two ODIs against Ireland in three years.
"Like I say, I've got many doubters out there and it hasn't stopped me performing," Taylor said. "A big thing that spurs me is proving people wrong, as my size, naturally I'm going to have plenty of doubters and I've proved them wrong over the years and I'll prove more people wrong in the coming months.
"As you've seen over the last six months, I can hit the ball just as far as anybody and as cleanly as most, so definitely in my eyes it's never proved a problem, I can hit the ball harder than a lot of people. Height I hope has never been an issue. There's a lot of guys out there that aren't very tall. I can pack a good punch."
Taylor's last England appearance came in 2013 but he ended the season in ebullient form, scoring five hundreds in a five-week period to force his way back into the one-day squad. Over the last two seasons, he has averaged 73.12 and 88.80 for Nottinghamshire in List A cricket and among the England players going Sri Lanka, only Ravi Bopara has more than his 12 hundreds in the format. At 24 and with England struggling to generate momentum ahead of the World Cup, Taylor's time may have come - regardless of what the tape measure says.
"It's a massive opportunity, as it is for everybody else in the squad, but 'unlucky' is one word," Taylor said of his inability to break into the side. "I've been frustrated to say the least that I haven't had a more consistent shot. They've got their reasons and to be fair guys have been doing unbelievably well over the last few years but now I've finally got my opportunity so it's up to me to take it and I plan on doing that in Sri Lanka."
England and Taylor are currently well under the radar in ODI cricket, with Rohit Sharma's 264 for India against Sri Lanka on Thursday indicative of how the game is changing. That single knock may have been bigger than England's recent innings average but Alastair Cook has indicated they won't be significantly altering their approach.
When asked if he thought any of the side could scale such heights, Taylor smiled before nominating himself. "Yep, me," he said, "I'll be putting up my hand to put in an innings like that." Whatever Pietersen thinks, sometimes good things come in small packages.
James Taylor was speaking at the launch of Royal London's sponsorship of the PCA benevolent fund
Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick