Batsman James Taylor chose the perfect moment to amass a career-best double century as recriminations over England’s batting woes continue following their 405-run thrashing in the second Investec Test against Australia.
Taylor, who has made two Test appearances for England, struck 39 fours and two sixes in a top score of 291 for Nottinghamshire yesterday. England’s selectors meet this morning to discuss options for the third Test at Edgbaston next week.
The 25-year-old completed his maiden first-class hundred of the season on Sunday, the same day as the Ashes series was levelled at 1-1 after England wilted under the strength of Australian dominance. In-form Jonny Bairstow also reached three figures for defending champions Yorkshire in the latest round of county fixtures.
Taylor’s knock could prove timely as a paltry combined total of 56 runs from their six innings at Lord’s has only heightened speculation over the international futures of misfiring duo Ian Bell and Gary Ballance, as well as opener Adam Lyth.
Australia head coach Darren Lehmann, meanwhile, insists that tormentor-in-chief Mitchell Johnson is set to terrorise England throughout the summer after taking his Test tally to 299 with six wickets at Lord’s.
“He was brilliant. He bowled fast,” said Lehmann. “He’s had some difficult times in England in the past, but he’s a different Mitchell Johnson you see playing for Australia now.”