Taylor pencilled in to replace Pietersen as he makes switch

James Taylor is to temporarily switch counties and play for Sussex against Australia this week in a move which appears to place him in line to replace Kevin Pietersen, should he be ruled out through injury of the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

The tourists have called up rookie off-spinner Ashton Turner for the tour match at Hove on Friday after deciding to rest senior players on the back of successive Ashes Test defeats.

Pietersen is undergoing treatment on a calf problem so there is a chance that his place in the batting line-up could become available in Manchester next Thursday.

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Several names have been mentioned as possible replacements, such as Ravi Bopara and Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance, but with Taylor trading Nottinghamshire for Sussex at England’s request, the 23-year-old seems next in line.

“We would like to thank Notts and Sussex for their support,” said England coach Andy Flower.

“This will provide James with a valuable opportunity to play in a longer format of the game while we consider our options ahead of the third Investec Ashes Test next week.

“Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery and a decision about his availability for the Test will be made nearer the time.”

Taylor is no stranger to the Test environment, having made two appearances last summer including a 147-run stand with Pietersen against South Africa at Headingley.

Australia’s Turner will make his first-class debut in the three-day match at Hove and has been playing for Chichester Priory Park as part of a development programme run by Cricket Australia and Hampshire.

The 20-year-old has taken 18 wickets at an average of 40.78 for the Sussex Premier League club this season. He will be one of three spinners in the Australia side, along with Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon.

Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss the match amid reports that his long-standing back injury flared up after the defeat at Lord’s.

Vice-captain Brad Haddin, openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers plus pace bowlers Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris have been rested, with Ed Cowan to captain the Australia XI.

Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird and James Faulkner will be pressing for a place in the Australia side for the Old Trafford Test after James Pattinson was sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Turner was a member of the Australia Under-19 team that finished runners-up to India in last year’s World Cup. He was one of six Australian Institute Of Sport scholars to be awarded a summer placement in England.