London: Uncapped Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor has earned his maiden call-up to England’s Test squad, after it was announced that Ravi Bopara will miss the second Test against South Africa this week for ‘personal reasons’.
Bopara had been recalled to the Test set-up for the first Test at The Oval, where he made 0 and 22 as England were beaten by an innings. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board insisted his absence from the squad was for personal reasons. In his place, the 22-year-old Taylor has been drafted up for the second Test which starts at Headingley on Thursday.
"James has been part of the England Performance Programme for a number of years and has performed consistently for England Lions and now has an opportunity to step up and experience the Test environment," said national selector Geoff Miller.
“We were outplayed during the first Investec Test last week but it is important that this squad regroups and focuses on preparing for the second Test. This is a talented squad with plenty of international experience and they will be determined to improve on the performance during the first Test.”
Taylor made his ODI debut against Ireland last year but has never been selected in an England Test squad. This week he scored his maiden first-class century for Nottinghamshire against Sussex has jumped ahead of Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow in the battle for the No. 6 spot. He had previously played for Leicestershire until the end of the 2011 season.
Fast bowlers Steven Finn and Graham Onions have also been included in England’s 13-man squad.