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I must grab my opportunity at Lord's

Posted in England

Being part of the England squad has been everything I thought it would be. I’m loving it but I know I haven’t made it yet.

I have been given an amazing opportunity but it’s up to me to take it and cement a place in the Test side.

My call up came as a surprise. I was at home, 106 not out against Sussex, when Geoff Miller called me. I didn’t think much when I saw his name on my phone but I was really excited when he told me I’d been included in the squad for the Headingley Test.

There was a feeling of relief too. I’ve worked so hard to get there and feel I have been close in recent years, so it was a great moment when I got the call.

Having said that, it didn’t mean I was in the starting XI.

The build-up was great. It wasn’t too daunting because I’d played with all of the guys apart from KP so I felt comfortable in the dressing room. It was an amazing feeling. I’ve been watching them on TV for the last five or ten years.

Being part of the England Lions helped. I’ve played a few times against Test attacks now and have done well against Sri Lanka and West Indies so I was confident of doing well if I got picked.

Getting my England cap on the first morning made it real. Being in the squad was great but getting the cap meant even more.

I was pleased that we fielded first. It meant I could get used to the atmosphere. I was quite nervous but was pretty busy in the field and felt it went well. After ten overs I felt quite relaxed.

James Taylor

I really enjoyed batting at Headingley Carnegie but was disappointed that I could not go on and make a big score

I wasn’t too nervous while I waited to go out to bat. I was actually excited despite the position we were in and the quality of the South African attack. There was a bit of pressure.

I was happy with how it went. I spent a long time in the middle which is good for my confidence ahead of Lord’s. I just wish I had gone on and got a big score.

Putting this blog together as I look out across the Lord’s outfield, it makes you realise how special it is. What a place to play your second Test, especially with it being such a crucial game. It doesn’t get better than this. It’s the challenge you want as a cricketer.

We know we need to win but there is a reason why this side is number one in the world and I’m sure we’ll show everyone what we can do. Everyone is really confident. We finished well at Headingley and hopefully momentum is with us now. We know we can bowl them out twice.

It’ll be a special moment for Straussy making his 100th Test appearance. It’s the perfect place for him to do it too being his home ground.

I was 14 and had just gone to Shrewsbury School when he made his Test debut in 2004. I’ve been watching him on TV ever since so it’s a bit surreal for me now that he’s a team-mate.

I can’t imagine playing 100 Tests but I’d love to get somewhere close to that. I’d love to achieve a bit of what he has.