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Taylor called into England cricket squad
04:10 AEST Mon Jul 30 2012

Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor is set for a Test debut after replacing Ravi Bopara in the 13-strong England squad to take on South Africa in the second Test starting on Thursday at Headingley.

Bopara was disappointing in last week's innings defeat at the Oval being carelessly dismissed for nought in the first innings and 22 in the second.

However, an England and Wales Cricket Board release stated his absence was due to "personal reasons".

That cleared the way for 22-year-old Taylor, who has moved ahead of Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow in the battle for the No.6 batting spot.

He came to prominence with Leicestershire and the calls for his elevation to international level grew in volume last season as he scored 1,335 runs at an average of 53.40 in County Championship Division Two, with three centuries and seven fifties.

That earned him a move into the top flight with Notts, but he had a difficult start to this season and his call-up comes on the back of his maiden first-class century for his new employers, 106 not out against Sussex on Saturday.

He added 118 against the touring West Indians for the Lions as well as 115no for his county in a Clydesdale Bank 40 game against Hampshire but averages only 36.16 for the Championship season.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "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."

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