The Ashes: England hope James Taylor measures up against Australia if KP is unfit

The 23-year-old Taylor has been keen not to get ahead of himself, telling reporters earlier this week: "I'm hopeful that KP (Pietersen) will be fit to play and, as it stands, I'm preparing to play in the three-day game for Sussex and nothing more." Taylor played two Tests against South Africa last year but didn't make the England squad for the tours of India and New Zealand.

updated: July 27, 2013 09:18 IST
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London: England's selectors were paying particular interest to Australia's tour match against Sussex ahead of naming their squad on Sunday for next week's third Test at Old Trafford. (File Photo: James Taylor and Kevin Pietersen vs South Africa)

Holders England may be on the brink of retaining the Ashes after a crushing 347-run win in the second Test at Lord's left them 2-0 up in the series with three to play but that match saw Kevin Pietersen suffer a calf injury that has left him doubtful for the Manchester clash.

England chiefs made it clear who they have in mind to replace Pietersen if the South Africa-born shotmaker is unfit by requesting Nottinghamshire's James Taylor 'guest' for Sussex this week against the tourists.

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