James Taylor: Mick Newell says step up benefited England newcomer

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell believes James Taylor's transition to Division One cricket won him his place in the England squad.

Taylor was named in the squad for this week's second Test with South Africa, a day after scoring a century for Notts.


Pick the man in form they used to say, didn't they? James Taylor scores his first Championship century on Saturday and then receives news of his first England Test selection the following morning.

Since meeting him for the first time in December and then spending some quality time with him on the close season tour, I have been highly impressed with his desire, temperament, confidence and sheer likeability.

Those qualities can be found in others, of course, but the real acid test is what he does in the middle.

A ton on debut, admittedly against Loughborough UCCE, put him in the Notts record books immediately, but he's had to wait a while before the expected flow of runs has materialised in Division One cricket.

A succession of scores in the white-ball game have come naturally to him and now this most pleasing of strokeplayers has an early opportunity to excel at the highest form of the game. We all wish him well.

Newell told BBC Radio Nottingham: "He must take his chance with both hands.

"He has obviously impressed the people at that level and he is now starting to show in Division One the form that got him their attention in Division Two."

Taylor joined Notts from Leicestershire in the winter and immediately made his mark scoring a century on his first-class debut for the county in the second innings against Loughborough UCCE, after a first-ball duck in the first innings.

Despite not hitting form in the Championship, the 22-year-old scored a century as captain of England Lions against West Indies in May.

He also began the season with impressive performances in limited-overs cricket, including a 77-ball 115 not out in a CB40 match at Hampshire later that month.

Taylor scored his first Championship century for the club in the current game against Sussex, finishing on 163 not out.

"There is no doubt that England wanted to see him play some Division One cricket and being tested against the better bowling attacks," Newell added.

"He is starting to show signs, which particularly started in one-day cricket, of showing that talent and skill coming through, and his four-day form has picked up."