James Taylor is wonderful against spin - Ian Bell
England batsman Ian Bell praised James Taylor as a wonderful player of spin bowling after the 25-year-old notched up a crucial half-century on the second day of the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah.
Taylor is currently making a comeback to Test cricket after a gap of more than three years and looked very comfortable at the crease against spin bowling.
In conditions that were not conducive for scoring quick runs, Taylor forged important partnerships with Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow – ending the day unbeaten on 74.
Reserving special praise for the way Taylor handled the spinners, Bell lauded the Nottinghamshire batsman for his knock.
"He's a wonderful player of spin, we saw that today the way he swept and used his feet, and he's a busy cricketer.
“It was really nice to bat with him and I thought his and Jonny Bairstow's partnership at the end was good.
“It was busy, looking for runs, picking up singles, but in particular the way he swept, I thought was fantastic in these conditions."
The highlight of the final session on the second day was the partnership between Bairstow and Taylor, which was worth 83 runs and lasted almost 30 overs.
Bell is pleased with how the things have panned out for England on a pitch that was quite slow with Pakistan bowling disciplined lines and lengths.
"It was a good last session for us.
“The tempo the guys played with at the end was brilliant.
“It has been a tough day’s Test cricket.
“It was a slow pitch with a slow outfield.
“Pakistan bowled really well, (they were) quite disciplined.
“We're really happy with how today is gone."
On a personal note, Bell played a vigilant innings, scoring 40 runs from 158 balls and was eventually stumped when attempting a big hit.
Admitting that it was a good experience for him to spend time in the middle, Bell is confident that any lead will put England in the driver’s spot.
"It's been a struggle for a while so it's nice to spend a bit of time in the middle.
“We knew that run-rates wouldn't be high.
“It's not about what it looked like, but trying to get the job done.
“To be four down at the end of today I think is a good place.
“It gives our bowlers a rest.
“Whatever lead we get will put in a good position.”
When asked what kind of a lead England will be comfortable with, Bell reckoned that anything over the thee-figure mark will be a significant achievement.
"As many runs as possible would be great but anything up to 100 would be fantastic.
“If these two guys play like they did today, it is teed up for a great Test match.
“Tomorrow will be a great two hours.”
Giving his thoughts on the pitch, Bell opined that it was still a good track to bat on and urged the batsmen to make full use of the conditions by scoring as many runs as possible on day three.
“It was a bat-first pitch, but if anything, it was going to spin early.
“This morning, when I went in it started to skid on more than spin.
“As the day went it, there was a bit more spin.
“Today was a better day to bat so hopefully we can cash in tomorrow morning and be really busy as possible and get as many runs as we can.”
England are awaiting the results of a scan done on Ben Stokes who injured his shoulder on the first day while fielding at short fine leg.
Hoping that the injury to Stokes is not serious, Bell revealed that the 24-year-old is dealing with the blow with a positive mindset.
“He (Ben Stokes) is absolutely gutted.
“He is the only bloke in the team who would’ve got to that ball.
“Shame that he was the man there.
“He is going around with a smile on his face which is typical Stokesy, but hopefully it is not as bad as what people think.”
England will resume batting on the third day with the score reading 222 for four with Taylor and Bairstow batting on 74 and 37 respectively.
© Cricket World 2015