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Taylor replaces Bopara for second Test

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Uncapped batsman James Taylor was on Sunday named in the England squad for the second Test against South Africa, starting at Headingley on Thursday.

London – Uncapped batsman James Taylor was on Sunday named in the England squad for the second Test against South Africa, starting at Headingley, Leeds, on Thursday.

Taylor replaced Ravi Bopara, who was unavailable for what England selection chairman Geoff Miller described as “personal reasons”. Bopara played in the first Test, scoring 0 and 22 as England were defeated by an innings and 12 runs.

It is the only change in England's 13-man squad. Nottinghamshire batsman Taylor, who has played in one one-day international, has a first-class batting average of 48.39.

He is likely to make his Test debut unless England opt for an extra bowler in place of a specialist batsman.

There have been calls for tall fast bowler Steven Finn to come into the England starting line-up after the England bowlers were only able to take two South African wickets during the first Test.

South Africa will replace England at the top of the international Test rankings if they win the three-match series.

Miller said: “We were outplayed during the first 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.

“We have made one change to the squad with James Taylor replacing Ravi Bopara who is unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.

“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.

“We have played a lot of good cricket over the last few years and it's important we remember that, learn from the mistakes that we made and retain the belief that we can level this series at Headingley.”

England squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Graham Onions. – Sapa-AFP


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