Taylor eager to kick on
James Taylor has expressed confidence in his ability to perform at the highest level following an encouraging Test debut for England.
The 22-year-old Nottinghamshire batsman was called up to face South Africa at Headingley Carnegie in the absence of Ravi Bopara, who was unavailable for personal reasons.
Taylor responded with a composed innings of 34, which saw him drop anchor and defy the Proteas’ attack for more than two-and-a-half hours as Kevin Pietersen dominated a valuable fifth-wicket stand of 147.
Many onlookers were impressed by Taylor’s apparent comfort in the Test arena; although he came to the crease with England under pressure at 173 for four, he appeared totally at ease against Dale Steyn and Co.
“I loved every second of it,” Taylor revealed. “I wasn’t quite as nervous as I thought I could have been.
“It was a tough position to go into on my Test debut. I really enjoyed the challenge of facing one of the best bowling attacks in the world.
“I try to read the game. When Kev was blasting at the other end I didn't need to do anything so I just stayed in my bubble and did what I what I did best, which is get on with my own game.
“I thought I did alright, but it was a shame I got 30-odd rather than the big score I probably could have got.”
The fifth man to fill the number six slot for England in 2012, Taylor is now hoping to gain a prolonged run in the team.
“I always like to tell myself I can do it at the highest level and I always back myself whoever I'm playing against,” he added.
“I'm definitely confident. I believe I can do a job there. It's up to me to get picked again and show people what I can do.
“I believe I've got a lot to offer so hopefully I get another opportunity. It's up to me to score some runs for Nottinghamshire and keep showing what I can do.”
Should Taylor be selected at Lord’s on Thursday’s week, he would be likely to face even greater pressure, with England knowing nothing less than a win will do if they are to retain their status as the world’s number one Test side.
However, the prospect of featuring in such a huge encounter, at the home of cricket, holds no fears for a player boasting maturity beyond his years.
“What an opportunity to show people on the big stage what I can do in a pressure situation,” he reasoned.
“I’ve shown a glimpse of what I can do but Lord’s would be a special occasion. Hopefully I can rise to that if given a chance.
“I kind of enjoy the pressure to be honest. I wasn’t too nervous going into the (Headingley) Test. I was more excited to show people what I can do at this level.
“It's called Test cricket for a reason. The best people in the world are playing it. But it's the same old game. I didn't need to change anything.
“Now I’ve just got to keep scoring runs. It’s as simple as that.”