Cook: Taylor ready for his second chance


England captain Alastair Cook is confident that batsman James Taylor will be able to prove his worth when he plays in the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah, replacing Jos Buttler in the XI.

Buttler has been dropped due to poor form with the bat, meaning Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket as England look to level the series. Taylor last played one of his two Tests in 2012, and has been knocking on the door ever since.

Taylor has been a consistent performer for Nottinghamshire, his most recent knock for them resulting in a ton, and has averaged nearly 50 domestically for years. He has been a fixture in the shorter formats, but this could be his Test comeback.

When asked of Taylor was ready to take his chance, Cook said: "Yes, I firmly believe he is. I'm sure he feels he was harshly treated.

"Sometimes that's the way of selection – it can be for you and against you.

"He's gone away over the last three years and he's a lot different player than what I remember him as.

"He's itching to play, and you don't average 47-48 in first-class cricket without being a fine player.

"One of his very strong points is that when he gets in he goes on to get big scores. We know how important first-innings runs are to set the game up."

The skipper said Buttler would benefit from a break to get his head right, just like Joe Root did during the Ashes two years ago.

Cook added: "We all know the amount of talent (Jos) has got – you see him play an innings that everyone around the world says is amazing.

"But he's not the first person who has come in, done pretty well then had a tough patch, been left out and come back stronger.

"He only has to look at Joe, getting left out of that Sydney game and using it as motivation to be clear on how he wanted to play in every situation.

"He's come back as a far better player because of it."