Newell: James Taylor-made for Tests
Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell believes it is only a matter of time before James Taylor makes his Test debut.
The talented batsman, who turns 22 next month, made the switch to Trent Bridge this winter after coming through the ranks at Leicestershire, and a string of experts have earmarked him as a future star in the premier form of the game.
Newell acknowledges Taylor, who has earned a solitary one-day international cap to date, may have to bide his time, but is confident his new signing will break into England's five-day side.
“I think he will play for England, it’s a case of when,” said Newell. “The England team, certainly Test-wise, is fairly settled so we’ll get some good cricket out of him for at least a couple of years.
“I don’t see any gaps in the batting, in that Test side particularly. If (Eoin) Morgan is fit and playing then England have a very set method of how they pick the team.
"So I think he’s got a little bit to do there but that’s part of the reason that he’s come here, to show he can play against the best bowlers in England each week and hopefully that will put him in a better position when he does get called up.”
In four seasons with Leicestershire Taylor scored 4,534 first-class runs at a shade under 50, which has led to him captaining the England Lions.
Newell feels that, after learning his craft in Division Two of the LV= County Championship, the time is right for Taylor to step up and show what he can do in the top flight.
He added: “I think it started to occur to him at the back-end of the summer that he was thinking of moving on.
“He had to carry on playing and he gave his best. They won the Twenty20 and he went to the Champions League, but it started to dawn on him that he was looking to move on for the betterment of his international prospects.
“I think this kid won’t be fazed by playing at a bigger-perceived club as one or two have been in the past. That won’t faze him and I think he’s very driven, very ambitious and very hard-working.
“He might have to get used to the swinging ball and the ball carrying. It’ll be interesting because he hasn’t played against a Dukes ball for a while either. That’ll be a new thing for him as well.”
Newell believes Taylor is potentially the brightest of a cluster of young stars waiting to make the step up to Andrew Strauss’ Test side.
“We’ve got (Alex) Hales, and people like (Ben) Stokes and (Jonny) Bairstow, (Jos) Buttler as well. He’s just different - I think a lot of those are more aggressive, more biffers - certainly Stokes and Bairstow," he explained.
“In that sense this is an old-fashioned, bat all day young player and that’s something that we’ve been sadly lacking.
“He’ll come in handy for us in four-day cricket but in one-day cricket his strike-rate is very good, and Twenty20 cricket. Not in a hit the ball out the ground type of way, more in a manoeuvring the ball round the field type of way.”