England Lions skipper James Taylor believes his team’s forthcoming match against the senior England side is the ideal opportunity to press his claims for a call-up.
Nottinghamshire’s new signing was recently handed the captaincy of the 16-man squad for next month’s tour of Bangladesh.
But, having made no secret of his desire to play Test cricket, he already has one eye on February’s fixture between the Lions and England in Abu Dhabi.
In the corresponding match two years ago impressive knocks by Craig Kieswetter and Taylor’s new Notts team mate Michael Lumb helped the Lions to an unexpected victory.
It also cemented the opening pair’s places in England’s ICC World Twenty20 team – and Taylor is in no doubt it could be the perfect stage for him too.
He said: “As you saw with Kieswetter and Lumb, scoring those runs is only going to help your chances of playing for England.
“There is nothing better than showing the selectors what you can do against their own team. It’s a great opportunity for me and the rest of the guys in the team to do that. And if we can beat them like we did two years ago it would be amazing.
“The England side at the moment is so strong that if I’m to knock anyone out of that side I’m going to have to score more runs than anyone else.
“That’s what I’m aiming to do and that’s what my goals will be for this season. I need to show the selectors what I can do and keep knocking on their door.”
Speaking at a press conference to officially announce his arrival at Trent Bridge, Taylor said the chance to work with Mick Newell again was one of the main reasons why he chose Notts over fellow suitors Warwickshire.
The pair first teamed up in the Caribbean in January this year when Newell was asked to be part of the Lions coaching set-up.
Taylor added: “Mick is a great coach and I obviously know him from a couple of months in the West Indies. He’s a great guy to work with and a great man-manager. I’m really looking forward to working with him again this season.
“It was a big decision to leave Leicestershire, but it was an obvious choice. I made that decision that I wanted to step up into Division One to test myself against the best bowlers in the country.
“I was in talks with Warwickshire, but as soon as I got talking to Notts it was the obvious choice. It’s a great side that I’m coming to and a great ground.”
Newell, who confirmed that Taylor will bat at number four in both the County Championship and one-day cricket, said he was delighted to land Taylor’s signature.
He added: “Unlike some of his contemporaries, who are real biffers of the ball, James is an old-fashioned bat-all-day type of player, and that is something we’ve been sadly lacking.
“He’ll come in handy for us in four-day cricket but in one-day and Twenty20 cricket his strike rate is very good too.
“The likes of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell would be players he would look up to and the challenge for him is that the players he looks up to are the ones he’s got to get past.
“He won’t be fazed by coming to a club that’s perceived to be bigger as maybe one or two have in the past. He’s very driven, ambitious and hard-working.”