Taylor targets big finish with England in South Africa

James Taylor in the field during the NatWest T20 Blast match between the Outlaws and the Bears at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 15 May 2015.  Photo: Simon Trafford
James Taylor in the field during the NatWest T20 Blast match between the Outlaws and the Bears at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 15 May 2015. Photo: Simon Trafford

After securing his first Test series victory, James Taylor has targeted a big finish to the first leg of the South African tour for both himself and the team.

Taylor, who has played six Test matches in his developing longer format career, believes the hard work the squad put in by the England squad has paid off with the results on the pitch.

“It’s huge – from a personal point of view getting my first Test series win under my belt was massive,” said Taylor.

“We came over here as a unit to beat the No. 1 team in the world in South Africa and we have done that. It was a massive challenge and we have done it. It’s really rewarding.

“The boys have worked seriously hard. They have put in some outstanding performances the whole way through the series.

“That spell from Broady was exceptional. I think I am right in saying that it is his seventh five-wicket haul in a single spell which is remarkable in itself and to do it when we desperately needed it is outstanding.

“He rises to the occasion whenever England need him to. He gets a lot of stick from the crowd, which I think he loves and it brings the best out of him.”

Taylor began the series with scores of 70 and 42 in England’s 241-run win in Durban but struggled in Cape Town and Johannesburg to make his mark with the bat.

However, the 26-year-old was at the centre of the action in the field during the third Test, taking two outstanding catches at short-leg.

“I’m feeling like I’m in a really good place,” he said. “On the flat one I missed the boat at Cape Town but that happens.

“I felt really good at Durban and scored some runs. Hopefully I can put in a really big performance at Centurion and finish on a high.

“I feel really comfortable in myself and my position in the team. Like anybody they always want more big runs and I’m desperate to get that big score under my belt, so hopefully that’ll come sooner rather than later.

“Short-leg is a tough position to field but I really enjoy it there, you are in the thick of things the whole time and you have to concentrate every ball,” he added.

“I decided to give myself the best chance, especially on those bouncy wickets, by going a little bit deeper after chatting with the bowling unit.

“You obviously aren’t there to get them off the face of the bat and if that happens there is a bit of luck involved; but it is also fun at the same time.

“Overall there is a bit of luck and a lot of practice and hard work. When you are in the game - and you don’t think you are going to get hurt - it is really fun.”