James Taylor (picture above) has scored 12 List A centuries from 97 innings and is just three knock away to level with Kevin Pietersen who has 15 centuries from a massive 233 innings © Getty Images (File Photo)
James Taylor (picture above) has scored 12 List A centuries from 97 innings and is just three knock away to level with Kevin Pietersen who has 15 centuries from a massive 233 innings © Getty Images (File Photo)

Nov 16, 2014

England‘s one-off new sensation and rising star, James Taylor has hit back at Kevin Pietersen‘s claim regarding his height factor and says that it was nothing but just being a part of the civil war in England dressing room.

Taylor has brushed aside the claims and is reported to be concentrating on the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka where England is scheduled to play a seven-match ODI series. He also plans to play some big knocks keeping in mind the upcoming World Cup scheduled to get underway in Australia and New Zealand earlier next year and the knock would allow selectors to get him in the squad for the mega event, reports Daily Mail UK.

Pietersen was unhappy with Taylor’s performance in his debut match at Headingley against South Africa in 2012 when Pietersen facing a strong bowling attack from the Proteas bowlers scored a superb 149 while Taylor scored a mere 34, although the pair put up a 147-run partnership.

Pietersen according to his auto-biography has said, “His dad was a jockey and James is built for the same gig. We were facing the fiercest bowling attack in the world. I didn’t think he was up to it.”

Pietersen expressed his concerns regarding Taylor and after he was dismissed, he told Matt Prior, “Listen, batting is easy. Taylor was just making it look hard. The South Africans were laughing at him. Just relax.”

Consequently, after failing to perform in the next game, scoring just 10 and four at Lords, he was dropped from the Test side. He said, “Plenty of people have slagged me off behind my back and he is just another one of them. It is plenty of years ago. I haven’t spoken to him since and it doesn’t really bother me.”

“Me and Kevin are friends — we had a nice exchange on Twitter,” he added on being asked about his current situation with Pietersen.

Owing to his omission form the Test squad, Pietersen writes in his book, “The poor guy has never been seen again. So I was wrong about Taylor, was I?” However, owing to his brilliance in the Royal London One-Day cup for Nottinghamshire might have kept Pietersen scratching his head as Taylor makes his way to the England ODI squad.

Taylor smashed three centuries in seven innings with a strike-rate of 96 and an average of 88. “As you have seen more over the last six months I can hit the ball as far as anybody and as cleanly as most,” he said.

“In my eyes my height has never proved a problem. Sachin Tendulkar is not that tall [he is also 5ft5in]. I can pack a good punch and I can perform in pressure situations,” he added.

He has also scored 12 List A centuries from 97 innings and is just three knock away to level with Pietersen who has 15 centuries from a massive 233 innings.

He has also played two ODIs against Ire land apart from the two Tests against South Africa and Sri Lanka is going to be his first major challenge in the ODIs.

“I have been frustrated to say the least that I haven’t had a more consistent shot. I didn’t get told an official reason. The only thing I got told was to go away and score more runs, which I consistently did in all three formats. Everybody can say they are mentally strong but I think that is one of my strengths,” he said.

“I have been knocked down plenty of times and I will be knocked down plenty more. It is how you bounce back. A big thing that spurs me on is proving people wrong. With my size I am going to have plenty of doubters. I have proved them wrong over the years and I will prove plenty more people wrong over the next few months and years,” he concluded.