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Taylor prepared for task ahead

Investec Test Series

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James Taylor spoke to ecb.co.uk ahead of his Test debut against South Africa

England’s newest debutant James Taylor is confident that he can step up to the challenge in the second Investec Test against South Africa at Headingley Carnegie.

The Nottinghamshire batsman boasts an impressive first-class average of just under 50 and comes into the match on the back of an unbeaten 163 versus Sussex in the LV= County Championship.

The 22-year-old, who replaces Ravi Bopara at number six, hopes he can continue his good form and score some valuable runs for a side looking to level the series.

“Hopefully all the hard work I have done will pay off,” Taylor told ecb.co.uk. “Obviously this is a step up facing one of the best attacks in the world and I am really looking forward to the challenge.

James Taylor

James Taylor is confident that he can step up to the challenge of facing South Africa in the second Investec Test this week

“It was ideal preparation getting that 163 not out against Sussex and hopefully I can take that kind of form into this match and score some valuable runs for the side.

“A lot of people have told me to just be myself, play your game and don’t change anything. It is the same old game but it is just called Test cricket. I will be facing one of the best bowling attacks in the world and hopefully I can up my game for the challenge.”

Taylor has settled in well with the rest of the Test squad and he insists that the side is confident that they will bounce back from their innings and 12 runs defeat at the Kia Oval.

“Hopefully we can draw level in the series,” Taylor added. “The lads are really confident. There is a reason why we are number one in the world and I think we can bounce back this week.

“The guys have been great. I have been around the Test scene for a while, had a few nets with Graham Gooch and been in for a couple of matches which has made it easier to settle in.

“I am quite an easy target for Graeme Swann with the old boring short jokes; doesn’t get old for him he finds it quite entertaining, but it is all light hearted and all good fun.”

Away from the cricket, the England boys have been keeping a keen eye on the Olympics in which one or two sports have grabbed their attention.

“There has been a lot of gymnastics and beach volleyball going on, but the lads are looking at the rowing at the moment and I think GB are doing well.

“The Olympics is the only thing on in the hotel at the moment and Team GB are coming back well."

Keep tabs on the England team - click here for all the breaking news from the camp, exclusive interviews, match reports and much more

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