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Taylor eyeing long-term stay in Tests
James Taylor will hope to take advantage of Ravi Bopara's misfortune by establishing himself as England's Test number six.
The Nottinghamshire batsman has been called into the squad for Thursday's second Investec Test against South Africa after Bopara withdrew for unspecified "personal reasons".
That is the only change to the 13-man squad from the humbling innings defeat in last week's first Test, though pace bowlers Steven Finn and Graham Onions remain in the party should England opt to freshen up the much-vaunted attack which managed only two wickets at the Oval.
Bopara struggled in that game, with scores of nought and 22 and two sloppy dismissals, and the diminutive Taylor will be tasked with adding runs from a number six position which has proved unproductive for England in recent times.
Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Bopara have all been tried but Taylor has long been on the national selectors' radar, captaining the second-string Lions side on several occasions and playing a solitary one-day international against Ireland last year.
He made only one run on that occasion but scored 118 for the Lions against the West Indians earlier this summer and his Test call-up comes on the back of an LV= County Championship century against Sussex, his first since moving to Nottinghamshire this season.
National selector Geoff Miller said: "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."
Notts director of cricket Mick Newell added on www.nottsccc.co.uk: "I think James was next in line for a Test call given the performances he has maintained in recent years. He is a good technical cricketer, he prepares himself very well, he knows how to occupy the crease against quality bowlers and I have seen improvement in his game this season.
"He has started to put together big scores in Division One of the Championship and he has shown glimpses of excellence in one-day cricket which haven't gone unnoticed."
England squad for second Investec Test against South Africa at Headingley: AJ Strauss (Middlesex, captain), JM Anderson (Lancashire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), TT Bresnan (Yorkshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), AN Cook (Essex) ST Finn (Middlesex), G Onions (Durham), KP Pietersen (Surrey), MJ Prior (Sussex, wicketkeeper), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), JWA Taylor (Nottinghamshire), IJL Trott (Warwickshire).