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James Anderson: I"ll turn down IPL millions to stay fresh for the Ashes

Anderson: I'll turn down IPL millions to stay fresh for the Ashes

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UPDATED:

22:27 GMT, 22 December 2012

James Anderson will turn his back on Indian Premier League riches in a bid to add significantly to his record haul of international wickets for England – and other leading players could follow suit.

IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla suggested last week that England's 2-1 Test series victory on the subcontinent must have caught the imagination of franchise owners, with Anderson lined up for a massive payday.

Shaping up: Playing for England is now James Anderson's priority

Shaping up: Playing for England
is now James Anderson's priority

India captain MS Dhoni added another nought or two to Anderson's worth by nominating the 30-year-old as the difference between the teams in the Test series.

However, the Lancashire fast bowler, who could probably have earned more than 500,000 for two months' work, has placed a premium on international appearances in 2013. It is a year that starts with him being rested from the one-day series in India and concludes with back-to-back Ashes campaigns.

'I won't be putting my name forward,' said Anderson, who equalled Sir Ian Botham's record 528 victims in an England shirt during his man-of-the-match performance in the draw in Nagpur last week.

'We've got a huge 12 months ahead of us and, as appealing as the IPL is, I don't think this year is an appropriate time to go.'

The appeal of the IPL is based on the eye-watering sums the teams are prepared to fork out for premier performers. Kevin Pietersen earned 750,000 in a month with the Delhi Daredevils this year while Stuart Broad was valued at 250,000 by King's XI Punjab.

Dale Steyn netted just under 1million – proving that top-class pacemen are worth their weight in gold in a competiton dominated by big-hitters and all-rounders.

But Anderson will not be budged. He entered the auction 12 months ago with an asking price of 250,000, and even though there were no buyers then, his stock has risen during England's successful tour of India.

James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar

He said: 'People have said our profiles have never been bigger and this might be our chance, but I just don't feel it is the right thing to do. England is my priority and I want to be in the best shape I possibly can for the series ahead. I would rather concentrate on keeping fresh and fit for the challenges that lie ahead for us as an international team.

'We've got Test and one-day series in New Zealand and it would mean going straight from there to the IPL, then straight back into another home series against New Zealand. Then there is the Champions Trophy leading into the Ashes, so there isn't much respite. During this big 12 months I want to be involved as much as I possibly can be.

'Hopefully, in the future, that IPL opportunity will still be there because I would relish the chance to take part at a later date.'

Next year's IPL is scheduled to begin on April 3 – a week after England finish their tour of New Zealand – and runs until May 26. Centrally contracted players are permitted to feature for a three-week block, but only Pietersen and Eoin Morgan are on existing deals – with Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively.

Those wanting their names to go forward for the January auction must notify their intentions within the next week, but Graeme Swann is thought to be among those who will put recuperation before rupees.

In Anderson's case, the chance to showcase himself as a limited-overs bowler in Asia has been removed once more. Last winter, he was 'rested' from the 5-0 one-day whitewashing by India. He will now not return in any capacity after Christmas, having originally been scheduled to play three of five matches.

'I do want to play one-day cricket and I don't like missing any games for England, but with how my body feels, a rest is probably the right decision,' said Anderson.

'After eight weeks on the subcontinent, getting through the volume of work that is required in a Test series over there, there is going to be some wear and tear on the body.

'There is nothing majorly wrong with me; I am just physically tired after a tour like that. One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is that I feel I proved to a few people, and to myself – which is the most important thing – that I can bowl out there.

'I knew taking wickets was going to be difficult, especially after the first two matches, when I only had two to my name, so it was pleasing to reach the levels I did. I have standards that I want to keep no matter where I am playing or who I am playing against.'

Anderson's contribution to his 13th series win of the 26 he has appeared in as a Test cricketer was a dozen wickets at 30 apiece, and upping that number of victory celebrations will be at the forefront of his mind this Christmas. 'We know exactly what we want to achieve: to win back-to-back Ashes in Australia would be incredible for an England team. Having experienced it last time, it is definitely something I have an appetite for,' said the seam bowler.

'Personal landmarks are really nice, but the things I will definitely remember for ever are the moments I shared with my mates in the dressing room.

'After our win in Mumbai recently, we stayed for about four hours, chatting and listening to music. It felt euphoric having a beer after that game, as it did having a beer on the outfield at Sydney.

'Those times outweigh any of our own personal achievements.'

India v England: Monty Panesar and James Anderson turn the screw in third Test at Eden Gardens

Anderson and Panesar turn the screw on India as only Sachin knock stands between England and paradise at Eden Gardens

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 5 December 2012

Even India's back-to-form greatest batsman Sachin Tendulkar was unable to stop England grinding out an advantageous position on day one of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

Veteran Tendulkar (76) remains without a Test century in his last 29 innings dating back to early 2011 – but he and opener Gautam Gambhir (60) did manage to salvage a stumps total of 273 for seven.

On a pitch already offering some uneven bounce to the spinners, and some carry and swing for the seamers with the new and old ball, England could easily have been more significantly-rewarded for their disciplined and determined efforts.

James Anderson (three for 68) thought he had Yuvraj Singh lbw for nought, but could not convince umpire Rod Tucker ball had hit pad in line, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni was within inches of holing out at midwicket off Graeme Swann first ball.

Instead, Nos 6 and 7 each went on to frustrate England – the former in a stand of 79 with Tendulkar – in this pivotal match of a four-Test series level at 1-1.

The signs were ominous for England after Alastair Cook lost his third successive toss of the series at a ground where India have declared with more than 600 on the board in the first innings of their last three Tests.

Cook's opposite number Dhoni had predicted a modicum of help for the pace bowlers in the first hour, and so it proved for Anderson and Steven Finn.

Rearguard: Sachin Tendulkar was not at his best but still hit 76 in Kolkata

Rearguard: Sachin Tendulkar was not at his best but still hit 76 in Kolkata

It came to nothing, though, as Gambhir and Virender Sehwag approached a 50 stand – until their running between the wickets failed them.

Sehwag clipped the first ball of the 11th over to midwicket. But Samit Patel saved the boundary with a diving stop, and Finn's race from mid-on in support paid off handsomely when he threw in over the stumps to comfortably run out Sehwag after he was sent back for a third.

It was hardly the way England might have envisaged taking the first wicket, but proved the value of all their attention to detail and painstaking training.

Monty Panesar's first success came in more conventional, indeed classical, fashion.

He had worked hard to draw Cheteshwar Pujara forward several times, and then surprised him on the back foot with an arm ball which snaked through the defence to hit middle-stump.

Masterclass: James Anderson took two wickets despite unhelpful conditions

Masterclass: James Anderson took two wickets despite unhelpful conditions

Gambhir, joined by Tendulkar to the obligatory raucous crowd reception at this cavernous stadium, appeared unperturbed by a failure from India's prolific new No 3.

The left-handed opener had hit 10 fours and duly completed his 81-ball half-century with a scampered single before lunch.

But he was first to go in the afternoon, laying back to cut after losing the strike against Panesar and edging a sharp chance to slip which Jonathan Trott just about clung on to.

Tendulkar scratched his way to his first 20, regularly playing and missing at Finn and then Anderson as Cook operated the two seamers in tandem with Panesar.

Finn's fine spell was in vain, but Anderson got a deserved breakthrough when Virat Kohli edged low to Swann at second slip.

Swann had bowled only three overs at that stage, but was called into the attack to give Panesar a rest after 21 unchanged.

Jump for joy: Monty Panesar dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Gautam Gambhir

Jump for joy: Monty Panesar dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara and Gautam Gambhir

Yuvraj began tentatively, but two driven fours off Swann gave him confidence – and after tea, he immediately went up the wicket to Panesar and struck him for a straight six.

England were toiling by the time Yuvraj lost concentration and poked a catch to cover off Swann, and it might have been two in two next ball when Dhoni's attempt to dominate from the outset brought only a thick inside-edge just short of Patel at midwicket.

Tendulkar began to live up to his billing, increasingly fluent in a 155-ball innings which contained 13 fours but ended in anti-climax – and no 101st international hundred – when he followed some Anderson outswing and was well-caught behind by Matt Prior, diving low to his right.

England then had an obvious chance to run out Ravichandran Ashwin for just a single, he and Dhoni contriving another India mix-up only for Finn to fumble at mid-on when another accurate return to the striker's end would have done the trick.

Anderson, however, ensured it was unarguably England's day when he broke another handy stand by getting through Ashwin's defences with the new ball in the penultimate over.

Picture Dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies. MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Bangladesh crush West Indies in first ODI in Khulna

Tamim and Anamul stand helps Bangladesh crush Windies to take ODI series lead

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UPDATED:

20:08 GMT, 30 November 2012

Bangladesh today thrashed West Indies by seven wickets to win the first one-day international in Khulna.

After dismissing the visitors for just 199, Bangladesh cruised to their victory target with 58 balls to spare.

Openers Tamim Iqbal (58) and Anamul Haque (41) set the tone with a stand of 88 for the first wicket, with Naeem Islam then making exactly 50 not out as the hosts cantered to an easy win.

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

All too easy: Bangladesh batsman Naeem Islam hit a half century in Khulna

The victory target would have been even smaller but for a fightback from Sunil Narine (36) and Ravi Rampaul (25) after the West Indies slumped to 133 for eight.

Windies skipper Darren Sammy won the toss and opted to bat first, but there were no immediate fireworks from flamboyant opener Chris Gayle, with just three runs in the first three overs.

Lendl Simmons scored the first boundary of the day off the 23rd ball and that seemed to inspire Gayle, who plundered 14 off the fifth over, with two fours and a six off Mashrafe Mortaza.

Abul Hasan had Simmons dropped on 12 before Gayle took another maximum and two more fours off the over.

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Shotmaker: Anamul Haque hits out at The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium

Mortaza removed Simmons for 13 in the first over after the powerplay and Sohag Gazi followed with the prize scalp of Gayle (35 from 40 balls) with only his second ball in ODIs.

Gazi sent Marlon Samuels packing for a duck, but Darren Bravo set about rebuilding the innings as he took 16 off Naeem's only over.

Kieron Pollard (15), Devon Thomas (16), Sammy (10) and Andre Russell (nought) all failed to make significant scores, while Bravo's entertaining knock ended on 35.

That left the score at 133 for eight but Narine, with 36 in 45 deliveries, and Rampaul made a major contribution at the back end of the innings.
Gazi (four for 29) eventually wrapped things up when he made Narine his final victim.

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Swashbuckling: Bangladesh's Tameem Iqbal cuts to the boundary

Bangladesh's reply got off to the ideal start when Tamim smashed four fours and two sixes in making 58 from 51 balls before being caught off the bowling of Narine.

And Anamul struck seven boundaries in his 41 before being caught and bowled by Sammy.

That briefly gave West Indies hope but Naeem made a composed half-century and, after Nasir Hossain made a quickfire 28, Mushfiqur Rahim (16 not out) finished the match in style with a boundary in a final total of 201 for three.

James Anderson fails as nightwatchman again

Top Spin at the Test: It's good night from Jimmy for second time in a row

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UPDATED:

21:06 GMT, 16 November 2012

Jimmy Anderson has generally done his job as nightwatchman since he was first handed the task against India at The Oval in 2007.

That was the first of 18 successive innings in which he was sent in towards the close and survived until stumps. But his last two efforts have not worked out.

He was dismissed by Kemar Roach on the fourth evening at Lord’s in May, and on Friday could only bat-pad Pragyan Ojha to forward short leg.

Back to the hutch: Anderson failed for the second time in a row

Back to the hutch: Anderson failed for the second time in a row

India v England – pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Little menace for Denis

Poor Nick Compton may be doomed to a lifetime of comparisons with his grandfather Denis, so there’s probably no harm in adding one more to the list.

While Nick’s maiden Test innings of nine took place in the toughest circumstances, on a turning wicket with men round the bat and 18 overs left in the day, Denis helped himself to 65 against a mediocre New Zealand at The Oval in 1937.

A bad Trott

He started with a century against Australia in his debut Test and Jonathan Trott has hardly looked back.

But for the first time since the Oval Test against Pakistan in August 2010, Trott’s batting average has slipped below 50 after he fell without scoring to Indian offie Ravi Ashwin.

It was only the second duck of Trott’s Test career, following the nought he made during the 2010-11 Ashes at Sydney.

Swann enjoys feasting in Asia

Graeme Swann had a poor English summer, when he managed to take only 10 Test wickets against West Indies and South Africa at an average of 59.

But his haul of 5 for 144 in this game maintains an impressive record in Asia, where his 58 wickets have cost 26 apiece – three points below his overall figure – and his last four innings have brought him 21 scalps and three five-wicket hauls. But England’s off-spinner could desperately do with a helping hand over here.

Pujara the run machine

The India No 3 Cheteshwar Pujara learned to build huge innings on the flat pitches of Gujarat, so the locals will not have been surprised that he took only six games to register his first Test double century.

It was his 11th score of 200-plus in matches stretching back to his days with Saurashtra Under 14s, when he was 306 not out in a total of 460 for five against Baroda.

Nick Compton scores half-century in warm-up match against Haryana

Immaculate timing from Compton as England opener scores another half-century ahead of first Test with India

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UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 10 November 2012

Nick Compton will make his Test debut high on confidence next week after his third successive half-century for England.

As the tourists again found runs easy to come by but wickets significantly harder on the Sardar Patel B Ground's ultra-flat surface, their new Test opener-in-waiting added a second-innings 54 not out to his 74 two days ago.

England's struggle to bowl out Haryana lasted until teatime on day three of four in this final warm-up match, thanks largely to Rahul Dewan – who carried his bat for a near eight-hour 143.

In the Nick of time: Compton is finding form at the right time heading into the first Test

In the Nick of time: Compton is finding form at the right time heading into the first Test

Haryana v England

Click here for the full scorecard

But when they did complete the job, Haryana reaching 334, they still had a lead of 187 and therefore the notional option of enforcing the follow-on.

After spending almost 115 overs in the field under a hot sun and cloudless skies, it was no surprise they chose to bat again instead – and not much more of one that captain Alastair Cook, after his first-innings 97, decided Jonathan Trott (61no) could partner Compton in his place at the top of the order.

The South Africa-born pair did not look in the least trouble either, on the way to twin 98-ball 50s in a stumps total of 118 for none, to deal with a seam attack which had posed so few problems first time round on this bowlers' graveyard.

Compton's big stride in forward defence, and off-drive, is already a familiar sight after two weeks on tour – and his initial nought and one against India A and Mumbai A are becoming happily distant memories.

He helped to put England in position to bat on for perhaps half a session tomorrow, before Cook judges the time is right to again set about the tougher task of taking opposition wickets.

If Compton's batting has become increasingly assured, the same could not be said of his fielding and catching as he and others showed signs of weariness while Dewan continued remorselessly.

Century boy: Dewan carried his bat for 144 as England struggled to tidy up the innings

Century boy: Dewan carried his bat for 144 as England struggled to tidy up the innings

Century boy: Dewan carried his bat for 144 as England struggled to tidy up the innings

The Haryana opener edged short and wide of the slips more than once but mostly presented a broad bat in a 315-ball stay.

As England's stamina underwent an extreme yet appropriate test, for the challenges to come in a four-Test series, Compton floored one straightforward chance and Matt Prior, back on duty after yesterday's stomach upset, was also short of his best behind the stumps.

Among their bowlers, Tim Bresnan (three for 66) got more than most out of the surface but even he could not shift Dewan.

The Yorkshireman impressed as England's most likely wicket-taker yesterday, and got them under way again today when he had Sandeep Singh pushing tentatively forward and edging low to Cook at slip.

The captain was in the firing line three more times before lunch. But the ball evaded his grasp when Amit Mishra twice edged past slip and Dewan, on 87, did likewise off Jonathan Trott – a rare false shot in a compact and controlled tour de force.

In the wickets: Bresnan and Meaker (below) both took three scalps

In the wickets: Bresnan and Meaker (below) both took three scalps

In the wickets: Bresnan and Meaker (below) both took three scalps

Mishra was gone relatively soon anyway,
turned round by Stuart Meaker and caught behind to give the Surrey
seamer his first first-class wicket for England.

But Dewan remained to complete his sixth first-class hundred with a cut for his 14th four – earning the polite applause of the bowler, Monty Panesar, in acknowledgment.

Meaker (three for 74) got through Jayant Yadav's defences and knocked over off-stump and would have had a third wicket had Prior managed to hold a diving catch down the leg-side to see off Amit Vashisht for just four.

Compton put down Vashisht again at point off Graham Onions, a glaring miss but one which cost only five runs before Samit Patel got his man lbw pushing forward.

Dewan was then joined in a ninth-wicket stand of 62 by Chanderpal Saini, the number 10 belying the fact he was playing in only his second first-class match at the age of 25 after a debut just last week – until Meaker had him lbw, before last man Sanjay Budhwar was caught in the gully off Kevin Pietersen for nought.

There was still time to push for a morale-boosting win, all the more so after the unbroken century opening stand which followed.

Digging in: Compton and Trott have both passed the half-century mark

Digging in: Compton and Trott have both passed the half-century mark

Nick Compton in the runs as England draw in Mumbai

Compton finds form in the Nick of time as he fights for opening spot against India

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 5 November 2012

Nick Compton spoke of his relief after grinding out a 'desperately needed' half-century to make a break in the race to open for England with Alastair Cook in the first Test against India.

With Joe Root — his rival for the second opening slot — falling for 24 on the final afternoon of the drawn three-day game against Mumbai A, Compton got his head down for an unbeaten 64 in 52 overs and put a nightmare start to his first senior tour behind him.

England have one more warm-up match, a four-day game against Haryana starting on Thursday, before the first Test begins in Ahmedabad on November 15.

Let me in: Nick Compton wants to be part of the England line-up for the first Test against India

Let me in: Nick Compton wants to be part of the England line-up for the first Test against India

MUMBAI 'A' vs ENGLAND

Click here to see the full scorecard

Compton is now in pole position to pip Root to a debut cap.

'I definitely needed that,’ he said after beginning the tour with scores of nought and one. ‘It’s not been the ideal start but I just think you need to give yourself a bit of time. It is a new country, a new place to play, a new team, so perhaps I was a bit hard on myself.

'The most important thing was to spend time in the middle. I got the balance back and the feet going and I got the score I desperately needed.’

In contention: Joe Root is also an option for England

In contention: Joe Root is also an option for England

The Mumbai bowling may not have been
from the top drawer, but Compton built a reputation for remorselessness
during a first-class summer that brought him nearly 1,500 first-class
runs for Somerset and England Lions at an average of almost 100. He
looked in no mood to blow his chance after Root had padded up to a
Shardul Thakur delivery which swung in to trap him leg before.

That left 21-year-old Root with
scores of 28 and 24, plus a wicket for his occasional off-spin, but
Compton’s selection in the tour opener against India A last week
suggested he began the trip ahead — and his 162-ball stay looks set to
keep him there.

Cause for concern: Stuart Broad was unable to bowl for England on Monday

Cause for concern: Stuart Broad was unable to bowl for England on Monday

Jonathan Trott made 30 and there was
a gratifying cameo from Ian Bell, who was fortunate to be dropped first
ball at backward short leg, before England closed on 149 for two.

Vice-captain Stuart Broad took the
field in the morning after a scan confirmed he had a bruised left heel,
but he was unable to bowl and will be rested for the Haryana match.

Stuart Meaker was due to join the
tour this morning as cover for Steven Finn, who has a thigh niggle, and
could play on Thursday in a seam line-up also including Tim Bresnan and
Graham Onions.

Onions struck in his first over on Monday but it was left-arm spinners Monty Panesar and Samit Patel who
engineered a Mumbai collapse of eight for 76.

Of the home players on show, only
Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a classy 87 on Sunday, was named Monday
in a 15-man India Test squad that includes the recalled Singhs, Yuvraj
and Harbhajan. For Yuvraj, who will bat at No 6, it will be a first Test
appearance for a year, and an emotional return following a battle with
cancer.

World Twenty20: Pakistan beat New Zealand

New Zealand scrape into Super Eights despite 13-run loss to qualifiers Pakistan

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UPDATED:

14:54 GMT, 23 September 2012

New Zealand progressed to the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka despite suffering a 13-run defeat to Pakistan in Pallekele.

Mohammed Hafeez's side ran up 177 for six with Nasir Jamshed claiming four sixes in a confident 56, with New Zealand responding valiantly to post 164 for 9, but the Black Caps were unable to emulate the swashbuckling batting of their opponents.

Despite the loss, New Zealand qualify for the Super Eights on net run rate, while Pakistan will confirm their own progression with victory over Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Accomplished: Pakistan's Nasir Jamshed plays a shot against New Zealand in Pallekele

Accomplished: Pakistan's Nasir Jamshed plays a shot against New Zealand in Pallekele

Pakistan v New Zealand

Click here for the scorecard

Pakistan have only lost once at this
tournament having scored 150 or more when batting first and remain the
only team to reach the semi-finals every time of asking.

There was a nervous start for Pakistan
as they opted to bat first, Hafeez being dropped for nought by Ross
Taylor, but they soon began to rack up the runs.

It was not until the sixth over that Tim Southee caught and bowled Imran Nazir for 25 but Pakistan continued to score freely.

After Hafeez hit an 87-metre six in
the ninth over, Pakistan reached the halfway stage at 92 for one and
Jamshed brought up his 50 with a four and a single in the 13th over.

New Zealand took three wickets in
three overs, Hafeez (43) first to go in the 14th over having been clean
bowled by James Franklin.

Kamran Akmal slashed Jacob Oram's
delivery to Kyle Mills for just three runs and Brendon McCullum caught
Jamshed off Daniel Vettori's bowling soon after.

Take that: New Zealand's Tim Southee celebrates after taking the wicket of Imran Nazir

Take that: New Zealand's Tim Southee celebrates after taking the wicket of Imran Nazir

Umar Akmal went for a big six in the
19th over but the ball dropped before crossing the boundary and Brendon
McCullum made the catch.

Kane Williamson repeated the trick as
Shahid Afridi went long with the final ball of the innings, with
Pakistan closing on 177 for six.

New Zealand made an impressive start,
with Rob Nicol and Williamson bringing up 47 in six overs, before Afridi
clean bowled the former in the seventh.

Williamson followed swiftly, run out
for 15 by Hafeez, and by the end of the 10th over, the Black Caps had
been restricted to just 66 for two.

New Zealand needed 86 from the last six overs and Brendon McCullum soon hit a huge six after Daniel Vettori survived a stumping.

But Vettori fell in the next over as he directed Ajmal's ball to Jamshed for 18.

Delight: Umar Gul celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum

Delight: Umar Gul celebrates after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum edged Umar Gul's
delivery against his pads and subsequently onto the stumps to go for 34
from 31 balls and Oram followed as he missed a big sweep at an Ajmal
ball.

Ajmal dropped an ambitious effort from Franklin before Taylor stepped up to fire a six over cow corner.

Franklin went down swinging as he
edged a slower Sohail Tanvir ball to Jamshed in the deep, with Taylor
soon run out for 25 on review.

New Zealand needed 19 runs from the
last six balls but Gul caught Southee for one, Nathan McCullum fell to
Ajmal for just five, with Mills and Adam Milne not able to score as
Pakistan claimed victory.

James Taylor replaces Ravi Bopara for England v South Africa

Taylor set for England Test bow as Bopara misses second clash with South Africa

PUBLISHED:

09:01 GMT, 29 July 2012

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 29 July 2012

Nottinghamshire's James Taylor is set for a Test debut after replacing Ravi Bopara in the only change to England's squad for the second Investec Test against South Africa.

Bopara struggled in last week's innings defeat at the Oval as he was carelessly dismissed for nought in the first innings and 22 in the second, but an England and Wales Cricket Board release stated his absence was due to 'personal reasons'.

That creates an opportunity at Headingley for 22-year-old Taylor, who has jumped ahead of Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow in the battle for the number six spot.

Stepping up: James Taylor is in line to make his Test debut for England

Stepping up: James Taylor is in line to make his Test debut for England

Taylor's potential has long excited watchers of the game and he has been a stalwart of England Lions squads over the past two years.

He came to prominence with Leicestershire and the calls for his elevation to international level intensified last season as he scored 1,335 runs at an average of 53.40 in LV= County Championship Division Two, with three centuries and seven fifties.

That earned him a move into the top flight with Notts, but he had a difficult start to this season and his call-up comes on the back of his maiden first-class century for his new employers, 106 not out against Sussex on Sunday.

He added 118 against the touring West Indians for the Lions as well as 115no for his county in a Clydesdale Bank 40 game against Hampshire but averages only 36.16 for the Championship season.

He has made one previous senior international appearance at one-day level, against Ireland last year when he scored only one run.

National selector Geoff Miller said: 'We have made one change to the squad, with James Taylor replacing Ravi Bopara who is unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.

'James has been part of the England Performance Programme for a number of years and has performed consistently for England Lions and now has an opportunity to step up and experience the Test environment.'

Jacques Kallis ready to make a splash as South Africa hunt England"s top spot

Jumping Jacques is ready to make a splash as South Africa chase top spot

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UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 18 July 2012

The bad news for England is that the most statistically successful all-rounder in the history of Test cricket is in the mood to confront his demons.

These things are relative, of course. Jacques Kallis has scored 12,379 Test runs at the Herculean average of almost 57, taken 276 wickets, and held 181 catches. No doubt he drives the South African team bus and butters the sandwiches. But there is a blot in his copybook – and he intends to do something about it.

When South Africa won 2-1 in England four years ago, Kallis averaged under 15 with the bat, an aberration that not even a series haul of 10 wickets could mask. This time, he is preparing to anchor South Africa’s pursuit of an astonishing ninth successive Test series away from home without defeat.

The main man: Jacques Kallis is looking to repeat South Africa's victory of four years ago

The main man: Jacques Kallis is looking to repeat South Africa's series victory of four years ago

The omens are good. When the South Africans stopped over in Switzerland for four days for a bonding session ahead of their arrival in England, Kallis stunned team-mates by overcoming his crippling fear of heights and jumping 10m into an Alpine pool.

For a man whose vertigo is so severe he can barely abide getting into a glass-fronted lift, this was no laughing matter. And although the experience did not cure his phobia, it at least said something about his state of mind as he seeks to put his personal struggles in 2008 behind him.

‘I’m not someone who worries too much about what happened in the last innings or on previous tours,’ he said. ‘You start with nought behind your name. It’s not like Formula One, where you get pole position. I have prepared the way I have always prepared. I will just go out there and do what I do.’

Kallis has earned the right to be phlegmatic: it is what he does best. In fact, his refusal to allow his heart to rule his head has helped bring him 42 Test centuries – only Sachin Tendulkar, with 51, has more – and turned him into the most consistent fourth seamer in the history of the game.

Away form: Kallis (second right) and South Africa have not been defeated on foreign shores since their tour to Sri Lanka six years ago

Away form: Kallis (second right) and South Africa have not been defeated on foreign shores since their tour to Sri Lanka six years ago

And his preference for second gear over fifth explains why – despite possessing all-round figures that compare favourably with the great West Indian Garry Sobers – Kallis is still rarely mentioned in the same breath.

It is an injustice that hardly troubles him. Asked whether he sees himself as the world’s greatest cricketer, he replied: ‘I don’t. It’s a huge compliment. But don’t see myself as that. I have never been one that worries too much about stats or accolades or anything like that.

‘I just enjoy playing a game of cricket whether I’m batting bowling or fielding. That’s how I go about my business.’

And he knows what he has to do. Kallis, who averages a modest 29 in 12 Tests in this country, was made aware of a technical failing by former England coach – and fellow Cape Town dweller – Duncan Fletcher after the tour here four years ago.

Fletcher pointed out that Kallis was lunging onto the front foot too early in an attempt to counter swing and seam. That gave him little chance to readjust his weight, and led to him getting squared up. He was bowled three times and lbw twice.

It will be a major surprise if he makes the same mistake again. Graeme Smith, his captain and close friend, yesterday described Kallis as a ‘massive blessing’. /07/18/article-2175552-141DA5FD000005DC-462_468x252.jpg” width=”468″ height=”252″ alt=”Top all rounders: Graphic” class=”blkBorder” />

Graham Gooch backs Jonny Bairstow to prosper in Test cricket

Frustration for Bairstow but batting coach Gooch says he'll come good

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UPDATED:

22:24 GMT, 7 June 2012

Graham Gooch has backed Jonny Bairstow to overcome his problems with the short ball.

With rain washing out the first day of the third Investec Test against West Indies at Edgbaston, Yorkshire batsman Bairstow was denied an immediate chance to improve on scores of 16, nought not out and four at Lord's and Trent Bridge, where he was troubled by Kemar Roach, to cement his place at No 6 for this summer's Test series against South Africa.

But Gooch, England's batting coach, insisted: 'You don't judge a player on a few good balls, and I don't think there's anyone who's played Test cricket who hasn't punched one away from in front of his face at some stage.

False start: Day one at Edgbaston was a wash-out

False start: Day one at Edgbaston was a wash-out

'Having been there myself and seeing the ball right in front of you – it's not a nice experience.

'He had discomfort with a few balls against a good fast bowler. When you come in, every batsman's vulnerable and that made it uncomfortable for him.

'He has to cope with the pressure of playing at the highest level but I think he's got a good attitude and, as far as I'm concerned, he'll be a successful Test player.'

West Indies, trailing 2-0 in the three-match series, are sweating on the fitness of star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who was taken to hospital on Thursday for a check-up on a side strain.

Short stuff: Bairstow has been put under the pump by West Indies quicks

Short stuff: Bairstow has been put under the pump by West Indies quicks

A team spokesman said: 'A day off gives him time to see how he goes.'

The ECB will have to refund an estimated 650,000 in ticket sales following the washout on day one, although the costs are covered by insurance.

The rain was more disappointing for Warwickshire, who have had to contend with underwhelming ticket sales on top of last year's decision not to award them an Ashes Test in 2013.