Wednesday, 15 June 2016

What to do about a problem like Jack Taylor

Yesterday, Gloucestershire once again went into their one day match deciding to go with the all-round (literally, all 'round') skills of the Gourmet-Burger instead of Jack Taylor who has been banned from bowling due to his suspect action. The decision has been based on balancing the side with the Burger's ability to bowl with a straight arm deemed more in-need than Taylor's explosiveness with the bat. It is hard to fault this thinking, particularly given that Gourmet-Burger has bowled well since Glos took this approach.

In the immediate aftermath of Taylor being banned, coach Dawson appeared keen to keep his batting in the side. However, the slump in form over the last few weeks has clearly seen a rethink.

The Jessop Tavern agrees with Dawson's decision and understands the need for the balance, and to have options with the ball. Long term we just wonder how Dawson will go about trying to include Taylor. It would be interesting to know whether Glos believe that Taylor could forge a career as a middle order batsman. Perhaps this current spurt in one day games isn't the time to judge. Bizarrely, given his explosiveness, Taylor has a poor one day and T20 batting record. He only has one 50 across both formats. It is in the championship that Taylor's batting has really matured. Two hundreds last year. Two hundreds already this year, and 500 plus runs at an average of over 50. That is better than almost our entire top order.

Will Glos be able to find space for him in the championship side? You suspect it will become easier to find room for him in 4 day cricket where specialist roles are more in demand that those of bits and pieces cricketers. But where they choose to bat him could be very interesting. Could he bat 6? The Jessop Tavern sort of hopes that Glos use this bowling ban to tell Taylor to go out and prove himself as a top order batsman.

Having seen him bowl over the last few years few observers would say anything other than his action has always been 'curious'. Even when he came back from the first ban. It could be that Taylor never manages to remodel his action sufficiently to prevent this being a recurring problem. We hope not, but there could be some fun if it meant we get to see more of him batting!

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