Netherlands loom on EPP horizon
The England Performance Programme’s tour of India has been successful, with two wins from two, but is about to get tougher with three limited-overs games against the Netherlands in Pune.
Having won both matches versus a DY Patil Academy XI at Mumbai, the EPP on Thursday and Friday face one-day encounters against the Dutch before ending the trip with a Twenty20 on Sunday.
Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor believes this is the best of his four EPP tours and also rates the Netherlands, who beat England in the 2009 World Twenty20 and have held their own in the Clydesdale Bank 40.
“We’ve got a really talented side here but you can’t take the Netherlands for granted,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“They’ve done well in the Pro40 league in England and they’ve beaten some good opposition, good county teams with quality players in so you can’t take them for granted. But the boys have been working really well and hopefully we’ll come away with some victories in those two one-day games and the Twenty20.”
Taylor added: “Every year has got better. I’ve learned more things, experienced the different cultures and different environments I’ve come to. This I reckon has been the best so far. The facilities in Mumbai and in Pune have been top-quality to be fair.
“Mumbai, we were in a 40,000-seater stadium and here it’s a bit more of a traditional cricket club. Both facilities have been quality.
“In Mumbai we played four-day cricket on totally different surfaces that we’re playing on to here. Over in Mumbai it spun more and was probably less slow whereas here it skids on a lot more.”
Taylor has been working with ECB lead batting coach Graham Thorpe and Mark Ramprakash.
“He’s been very good,” Taylor said of Thorpe. “Having worked with him for three years makes a massive difference because he knows my game and I know how he works with me and stuff like that.
“So it makes it a lot easier for me and he’s obviously got a hundred Tests behind him and so much experience, so I can tap into him as much as I want. Like I said, he knows my game so it makes things a lot easier.
“But also we had Mark Ramprakash here for the first two weeks of the tour and, again, he’s got great knowledge behind him and plenty of experience that you can tap into him as well.”
The EPP are due to return home on Monday, having taken valuable lessons according to Taylor.
“We’ve been here for three weeks now. We’ve worked really hard. Obviously it couldn’t be any more different to back in England, these conditions,” he concluded.
“So the guys are learning, but most of them have come out here before so they’ve got some experience out here. They’re definitely learning every day and getting better as the tour goes on.”