England pointer in Taylor switch
James Taylor is to temporarily switch counties and play for Sussex against Australia this week in a move which appears to put him in line to replace Kevin Pietersen, should he be ruled out through injury.
Pietersen is undergoing treatment on a calf problem ahead of the third Ashes Test which starts at Old Trafford next Thursday, so there is a chance that his place in the batting line-up could become available.
Several names have been mentioned as possible replacements, such as Ravi Bopara and Yorkshire's Gary Ballance, but with Taylor trading Nottinghamshire for Sussex at England's request, the 23-year-old would seem to be next in line.
"We would like to thank Nottinghamshire CCC and Sussex CCC for their support and understanding in allowing Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor to play for Sussex against Australia in the three-day tour match beginning on Friday," said England coach Andy Flower in a statement.
"This will provide James with a valuable opportunity to play in a longer format of the game while we consider our options ahead of the third Investec Ashes Test next week. Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and a decision about his availability for the Test will made nearer the time."
The three-day game starts at Hove on Friday, with Australia looking to build some confidence after two demoralising losses in the first and second Tests.
Taylor is no stranger to the Test environment having made two appearances last summer including a 147-run stand with Pietersen against South Africa at Headingley.
Taylor played down the possibility of replacing Pietersen. He said: "I'm hopeful that KP will be fit to play and, as it stands, I'm preparing to play in the three-day game for Sussex and nothing more.
"I'm disappointed to have to miss two big Notts matches but the Sussex fixture will give me an opportunity to get some red ball practice and then I'll wait and see.
"I'm not back in the Test side yet but I'm pleased to be a step closer to it and I've always dealt with situations like this by concentrating on the game in hand and refusing to look too far ahead."