The Ashes: James Taylor favourite for call-up - Mick Newell

James Taylor

Notts director of cricket Mick Newell believes James Taylor is a clear favourite for an Ashes call-up if Kevin Pietersen fails to shake off an injury.

With Pietersen recuperating from a left calf strain, Taylor, 23, is to play for Sussex against Australia ahead of the third Ashes Test.

"If Kevin's not fit, then James looks like he's going to play," Newell told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"The fact he's been asked to play this match is a fairly strong indication."

Several other names have been mentioned as possible replacements for Pietersen, including Essex's Ravi Bopara and Gary Ballance of Yorkshire.

But Taylor, who played in two Tests against South Africa in 2012, appears to be at the front of the queue.

"I think it's very difficult with an injury 10 days away from the Test match to be too sure as to whether Kevin will be fit enough," Newell said.

"I'd expect James to play in this game and if he's not required because Kevin's fit, he will be returned to us for our four-day match at Taunton next week."

If Taylor is needed for the third Test, he will join Joe Root, 22, and Jonny Bairstow, 23, in England's top six.

And Newell believes the selectors' faith in young talent bodes well for the future of English cricket.

"[They are] young and a little bit inexperienced, but obviously it's very exciting that England are confident to pick three batsmen under 25 among their best six batsmen in the country.

"That holds the strong possibility that this England team can stay strong in the future as well."

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