Taylor to make test debut against South Africa
England have turned to James Taylor to fill the troublesome number six batting role, handing the Nottinghamshire batsman his test debut against South Africa at Headingley on Thursday.
England, 1-0 down in the three-match series after their humiliating innings and 12 run loss at The Oval, must avoid defeat in the second test to keep their place at the top of the world test rankings.
Taylor, 22, will replace Ravi Bopara, who did not wish to be considered for personal reasons, to become the England's fifth number six this year, with Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior and Bopara all previously employed in the role.
Team Director Andy Flower has confirmed England will not alter their policy of six batsmen to allow for fifth front-line bowler.
"I've played against James a few times for Middlesex, and I've always been impressed with his method," captain Andrew Strauss told reporters as he confirmed Taylor's selection.
"He's got a good temperament and character. It's obviously a fantastic opportunity for him - and I know he's very excited at the prospect of playing."
Strauss emphasised England's determination to improve on their dismal display at The Oval when neither the batsmen or bowlers impressed with the exception of Alastair Cook, who made 115 in the first innings.
"There's quite a steely determination to put on a better showing here this week," Strauss said. "We were disappointed with the way we played at The Oval."
"I've always felt when I've been with an England side that when we've had a loss like that it drives people to come out with something special the week after.
"There have been some good examples of that in the last couple of years. I'm expecting something similar this week."