England romped to a 347-run victory inside four days of the second Investec Ashes test at Lord’s yesterday, opening up a 2-0 lead in the series.
Nottinghamshire’s Graeme Swann was key to the England efforts, taking nine wickets in the match and also weighing in excellently with the bat alongside Stuart Broad, the pair adding 48 from 40 balls in their last-wicket partnership in the first innings.
Ahead of the third match, to be held at Old Trafford next week, England are sweating over the fitness of batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was unable to take to the field in the closing stages of the match at Lord’s with a calf strain.
“James is knocking the door down with his runs in county cricket," Mick Newell.
This has led to discussions over possible replacements for Pietersen should he not be fully fit in time for the third Test, and one man whose name is being murmured by all the right people is James Taylor.
"In terms of runs and confidence he’s in a good place,” said Nottinghamshire’s Director of Cricket Mick Newell.
“His form is good, and it will very much come down to the opinion of the selectors and Andy Flower."
Taylor has had an excellent season thus far for Nottinghamshire, having already scored 857 runs, his stunning unbeaten double century against Sussex the pick of his innings.
Newell added: “James is knocking the door down with his runs in county cricket, he’s still well thought of at the Lions level and I’m sure it will be a matter of time before he gets a chance again.”
England’s batting coach Graham Gooch has also moved to mention Taylor in relation to Pietersen’s fitness, this talk coming a year after he made his Test debut against South Africa. Since then, he has also impressed through the winter with the England Lions.
“James Taylor is having a good year,” said Gooch.
“He made his England debut last year and showed up pretty well at Headingley.”