James Taylor praises English batsmen, admits getting neckache facing Mohammad Irfan

Taylor gets a stiff neck facing Mohammad Irfan

Ahead of the third ODI in Sharjah on Tuesday, England’s James Taylor admits he has an “neckache for half-an-hour” after facing Pakistan’s Mohammad Irfan, reports Sky Sports.

At 5’2, Taylor isn’t particularly tall, but admits that facing Mohammad Irfan, who at 7’1 is the tallest cricketer of all-time, is quite a challenge.

"I haven't suddenly become this small overnight. I've been around the lads for a while now, so it's nothing different," Taylor said. "He's [Irfan] just an exceptionally tall bowler, so it's always amusing when I come up against him.

"I had neckache for half-an-hour afterwards! I quite enjoy facing the big guys, because it means the ball should bounce - and that plays to my strengths.

"But he's obviously exceptionally tall, and I'm pretty short - so the height difference is quite funny. I find it amusing looking up at him, and I'm sure everybody else around the ground did as well.”

Despite only playing the final test and the two ODIs, the right-hander said he has learnt the art of batting in sub-continental conditions.

"I've learned a lot, playing again in the sub-continent, how tough the environment and the conditions are - and how good a side Pakistan are," the right-hander said.

"As a team we've learned a lot, and I think that is the most important thing. But most importantly, we've come here to win - and so far, we've won one and lost one. So it's all to play for. We know they're going to come back hard at us.”

The 25-year-old, who scored a half-century in the first ODI, which England lost comfortably before levelling the four-match ODI series with a comprehensive 95-run win in the second match praised England’s handling of Pakistan’s spinners, who have taken just four wickets in the ODI series so far.

Taylor said: "A lot of credit has to go to our batsmen and the way they’ve played Yasir [Shah].”

"I think the boys in general have played spin pretty well on this trip. I think the talent we've got in this one-day group is exceptional and we showed glimpses of that in the second match.”

Yasir Shah doubtful for third ODI

Not only are the hosts looking at a third different opening partner in as many games for captain Azhar Ali, but they might also be without their No.1 spinner as Yasir Shah is a doubt for the game with a knee injury.

Although the leg-spinner hasn’t been able to replicate his test performance against England in the ODIs so far –  he has only taken one wicket in two ODIs,  compared to 15 in two Tests – he will still be a huge blow as Pakistan look to bounce back and win the four-match ODI series.

Edited by Staff Editor
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