Taylor focused on World Cup

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND batsman James Taylor believes his pulsating innings in the fourth one-day international (ODI) can prove a watershed moment in his international career and strengthen his bid for a place in his country’s World Cup squad.

The 24-year-old played his only two Test matches for England in the summer of 2012 against South Africa, while his two previous ODI appearances before Sunday came more than a year apart, with the last 15 months ago versus Ireland.

But his knock of 90 was the standout contribution by an England batsman during Sunday’s six-wicket defeat, the only other player bar stand-in skipper Eoin Morgan to post a half century, and Taylor hopes a corner has now been turned.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t, it has been hugely frustrating having scored the runs I have in the past,” said Taylor. “I have scored plenty in county cricket, but (also) every time I have stepped out in the Lions shirt I have scored runs against international attacks – in four-day cricket as well as one-day cricket.

“But I hope that is in the past and now I can look forward to a few more innings if I get the opportunity. That question is always going to be there, am I going to get another go? I hope I do on this tour, and then it’s up to me to take it and put in another couple of decent performances to get me on that plane.”

England trail Sri Lanka 3-1 in the series and require victory in Pallekele tomorrow to avoid a series defeat at a time when World Cup preparations are intensifying.