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Ashes 2013: Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor to play for Sussex against Australia

James Taylor: Favourite to play in third Test if Pietersen is ruled out

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England hopeful James Taylor has been named in the Sussex side to face Australia in their tour match at Hove.

The England and Wales Cricket Board put in a request to both Sussex and Taylor's county Nottinghamshire to include the batsman for the three-day contest which starts on Friday.

Taylor is widely expected to be named in the England squad for next week's third Ashes Test at Old Trafford as cover for Kevin Pietersen, who suffered a calf strain in last week's victory at Lord's.

Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor is a contender to replace Kevin Pietersen at Old Trafford if he fails to recover from the injury.

An ECB statement read: "Following discussions between the England management and Nottinghamshire CCC, Nottinghamshire CCC has allowed batsman James Taylor to play for Sussex in the three day game against Australia starting this Friday."

England team director Andy Flower said: "We would like to thank Nottinghamshire CCC and Sussex CCC for their support and understanding in allowing James Taylor to play.

"This will provide James with a valuable opportunity to play in a longer format of the game while we consider our options ahead of the third Investec Ashes Test next week.

"Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and a decision about his availability for the Test will made nearer the time."

Taylor, who shared a 147-run partnership with Pietersen on his Test debut against South Africa last summer, is looking forward to time in the middle at Hove but insisted he was not expecting to play ot Old Trafford next week.

"I'm hopeful that KP will be fit to play and, as it stands, I'm preparing to play in the three-day game for Sussex and nothing more," he said.

"I'm disappointed to have to miss two big Notts matches but the Sussex fixture will give me an opportunity to get some red ball practice and then I'll wait and see.

"I'm not back in the Test side yet but I'm pleased to be a step closer to it and I've always dealt with situations like this by concentrating on the game in hand and refusing to look too far ahead."

England made a similar move two years ago when the then-captain Andrew Strauss opened the batting for Somerset against India ahead of the four-Test series against MS Dhoni's side.