James Taylor Monday praised his fellow England batsmen’s ability to negotiate Pakistan spinners in the one-day series, saying the talent in the limited over team is exceptional.
England meet Pakistan in the third of four one-day internationals in Sharjah on Tuesday, with the series tied at 1-1.
Pakistan won the first game by six wickets while England levelled with a thumping 95-run win in the second — both in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan’s spinners have managed just four wickets in the two one-day internationals, which Taylor believes is down to his team’s ability to counter spin.
“A lot of credit has to go to our batsmen and the way they’ve played Yasir (Shah),” said Taylor.
Pakistan’s leg-spinner Shah, who took 15 wickets in the preceding 2-0 Tests series win, has taken just one wicket in two games and was ruled out of the third with a knee injury.
“I think the boys in general have played spin pretty well on this trip. I think the talent we’ve got in this one-day group is exceptional, we showed glimpses of that in the second match.”
Taylor, who at 5 foot, two inches (1.6metres) is the shortest player around, said facing Pakistan paceman Mohammad Irfan — the tallest-ever to play cricket at 7feet, one inch (2.2m) — was amusing.
“I haven’t suddenly become this small overnight. I’ve been around the lads for a while now, so it’s nothing different. He’s (Irfan) just an exceptionally tall bowler, so it’s always amusing when I come up against him.
“I had neckache for half-an-hour afterwards,” said Taylor. “I quite enjoy facing the big guys, because it means the ball should bounce – and that plays to my strengths.
“But he’s obviously exceptionally tall, and I’m pretty short – so the height difference is quite funny. I find it amusing looking up at him, and I’m sure everybody else around the ground did as well.”
Taylor, who scored a half-century in the third and final Test in Sharjah, said he has learnt how to play on dry sub-continent pitches.
“I’ve learned a lot, playing again in the sub-continent, how tough the environment and the conditions are – and how good a side Pakistan are.
“As a team we’ve learned a lot, and I think that is the most important thing. But most importantly, we’ve come here to win – and so far, we’re won one and lost one. So it’s all to play for.
“We know they’re going to come back hard at us.”