Ashes 2013: England recall Taylor, Panesar & Tremlett for third Test
Ashes 2013: James Taylor receives call-up to England's 14-man squad for third Test along with Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett
James Taylor took a further step forward towards earning an England recall by being named in the 14-man squad for Thursday’s third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.
The Nottinghamshire batsman, 23, played two Tests last summer against South Africa before being pipped by Jonny Bairstow for a place in the winter squads for the India tour which followed.
Taylor was selected in case Kevin Pietersen doesn’t recover fully from his left calf injury. Steven Finn, who played in the first Test, and Graham Onions, have been dropped and told to return to their counties.
Chris Tremlett and Monty Panesar, both 31, were also picked in the Test squad, announced on Sunday, as England look to cover all the bases ahead of a match that could see Alastair Cook’s side reclaim the Ashes.
The Old Trafford surface is expected to take spin and therefore could deteriorate as the match wares on; Tremlett’s height could prove crucial, too, with uneven bounce coming into the equation – if England decide to go with the Surrey seamer.
England will make a last-minute decision on the Pietersen’s fitness. The 33-year-old is currently doing all he can to make the third Test.
In the event of Pietersen failing to prove his fitness, Taylor demonstrated his form when guesting for Sussex – at the request of the ECB – against Australia in the tourists’ warm-up match.
Taylor hit an unbeaten 121 off 254 balls, which was far from fluent. The 5ft 6in batsman should have been out on 90 when he skied Aussie off-spinner to deep mid-on but Ashton Agar couldn’t hold on.
Despite never really looking settled at the crease it was Taylor’s first knock in red-ball cricket for just over two weeks and so he will, no doubt, be happy with his efforts.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia confirmed on Monday that batsman David Warner has rejoined the Australia squad.
He will be available for selection for the third Ashes Test after being banned until the first Test after attacking England’s Joe Root in a bar.
He joined the Australia A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa and scored 193 in the drawn match against South Africa A which finished on Saturday.