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Hosts hope Taylor measures up

cricket Updated: Jul 28, 2013 01:22 IST
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Steven Smith struck 102 not out to cap a solid effort by Australia's top-order batsmen on the second day of the tour match against Sussex on Saturday.

However, James Taylor struck a half-century to give himself a good chance to step in for the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford if Kevin Pietersen fails to recover from the calf injury suffered in the second match that has left the hosts 2-0 up.

England selectors had requested Nottinghamshire's Taylor to be included as a 'guest' for the three-day tie. Taylor played two Tests against South Africa last year but didn't make the England squad for the tours of India and New Zealand. However, Taylor, 23, has been in good first-class form, scoring 824 runs in 15 county championship appearances.

England's selectors will also be keeping a close eye on Sussex left-arm spinner Monty Panesar as they debate whether to play a second spinner alongside Graeme Swann on an Old Trafford pitch which, while it last staged a Test in 2009, remains renowned for taking turn.

Botham warning to England
London: Former England skipper Ian Botham has warned England not to show any mercy to the struggling Australia, media reports said.

Botham believes England need to turn the tables on Australia, who did not show any ounce of sympathy when England were beaten 5-0 in the past when Australia dominated the game.

Hughes fears losing spot to Warner
Melbourne: Australia's unsettled batsman Phillip Hughes has admitted frustration at his constant shuffling in the batting order and is worried he could lose out to David Warner in the third Test.

Hughes, back to opening the innings, scored 84 on the first day of the Australians' three-day match against Sussex.

Hughes said that he is aware that with the return of Warner and a bad loss in the second Test at Lord's, someone, probably himself, is likely to go, although he added that it is a good thing to have competition and expressed his pleasure to see Warner score big after his problems both on and off the field.