Taylor ‘might now have booked himself a ticket to the World Cup’, says Sir Ian Botham

"The ironic thing is if the captain hadn't been suspended, Taylor probably wouldn't have played"

“The ironic thing is if the captain hadn’t been suspended, Taylor probably wouldn’t have played”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Following his superb knock of 90 against Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI in Colombo, legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham believes that James Taylor “might now have booked himself a ticket to the World Cup”.

However, Taylor’s valiant knock was not enough to lead England to victory as Sri Lanka ended up winning the match by six wickets with two balls to spare.

“The ironic thing is if the captain hadn’t been suspended, Taylor probably wouldn’t have played,” Botham said. “But he’s ticked all the boxes and might now have booked himself a ticket to the World Cup.

“England will have to make some changes in Pallekele, it’s a big call as to which way they will go.

“It will probably be Alex Hales who misses out again. But I feel that would be very harsh. If [Eoin] Morgan hadn’t of got runs, it might have been him who was left out.”

Even though England currently trail Sri Lanka 3-1 with three games left to play, Botham was impressed with the national team’s performance during the fourth ODI.

“England will be pretty happy,” he said. “I know they’ve lost, and they’ve got a tough task to get back in the series but there were a lot of positives to come out of [the match].

“Where they have to improve though is with extras again. That’s proving to be a bit of a problem this series.

“Also, I think the bowling coach might want to have a little chat with the bowlers generally because they did well in testing conditions but they keep bowling this variation ball. It’s almost that they bowl two dot balls, but then want to try this slower ball out the back of the hand. That’s costing England a lot of runs at the moment.”

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