London: Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor is set for a Test debut after replacing Ravi Bopara in the only change to England’s squad for the second Test against South Africa.
Bopara may have given up a Test career for ‘personal reasons’ after withdrawing from the squad for the second Test at the eleventh hour in a face-to-face meeting with coach Andy Flower late on Saturday night.
The Notts batsman and former Lions captain has just a single one day cap against Ireland to his name.
England clearly felt they couldn’t turn back to either Eoin Morgan or Jonny Bairstow, both of whom have tried and failed to replace Paul Collingwood since his retirement, leaving the path clear for Taylor, a British national daily reports.
“I hoped that I would be next in line. I never took anything for granted although I have scored consistent runs in all forms of the game to earn this chance,” said Taylor.
“Facing South Africa’s bowling attack is always going to be a tough challenge but its something that I would relish because getting an England Test call has been my aim from the word go,” he said.
“If I get that opportunity I have to take it with both hands. If I get in the team then I have to work hard to get runs and then work harder again to do that consistently.”
Flower is understood to be upset at the instability plaguing England’s middle order and this is another blow to his attempts to get the batsmen back on track.