James Taylor at short leg

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< 1 minute read

Sky just broadcast a slow-mo of James Taylor plucking the ball out of his arse. That’s what it looked like anyway. Kneeling down, he reached behind him and lo, there it was.

South Africa were doubtless already wary of Taylor’s short leg fielding after a couple of shots ended up in his hands off the face of the bat in the previous Test. Apparently it’s not just his hands you need to worry about though.

On this occasion, Taylor saw Dean Elgar shaping to clip the ball to leg and, predicting the path of the ball, scuttled across to cover it in the style of Doctor Zoidberg. Presenting his disproportionately massive cojones as some sort of target, he then took the catch via thigh, midriff and possibly even ankle as his legs clamped around the ball. He then retrieved it from its fleshy prison between his legs as a final flourish.

Taylor may be small, but as we all know, things seem much larger when they’re up close. He’s hard to ignore at short leg and as an opposition batsman, it must be tempting to simply rule out the quarter of the field that lies beyond him.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. I’d stopped noticing Bell isn’t in the team any more til it got mentioned on Auntie’s live text.

    I wonder if the selectors have stopped noticing that Bell isn’t in the team too.

    I thought it would be something you’d notice, a glaring omission like a team sheet without Atherton or Stewart (kept noticing that for years), or Tres (still missed), or without KP (noticed that for a while but probably not so long as he hoped) or without Swanny (on current form think we will notice that for 5-10 years) or without Anderson (we’ll notice that for about 20 years) or without Botham (people are STILL noticing that, so call it 50 years).

    But Belly is going the way of Thorpey – an ever-present, unthinkable that he couldn’t play even if there is serious talk of dropping him, but once he’s gone he sinks out of view as his perfectly adequate replacements take all the headlines.

      1. I think the plight of Test-playing middle orders bats is made worse by the fact they aren’t just in competition with County middle order bats, but may also be replaced by County openers, County wicket-keeper batsmen or County batting all-rounders (especially purveyors of spin, “spin”, and/or “balance”). That’s a lot of candidates per slot.

      2. Good ones are not so rare. Great ones are very rare indeed.

        Ian Bell has reverted to mean statistically – so 42 or so as an average at a strike rate below 50 is merely good, not great.

        Great ones, such as Amla, de Villers, Younis, Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, Sanga, Mahela… are not ten-a-penny and are indeed sorely missed when they go. Their averages tend to be close to or north of 50 though.

        Your editorial position of indifference back in the day was prescient.

        Meanwhile, Little Jimmy Taylor. Bless him.

      1. Can you please make five more wickets happen, and then stop making wickets happen for a couple of days, and then make ten more happen?

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