Opportunity knocks for Norfolk all-rounder Callum Taylor at Essex this season

England U19 cricket team player Callum Taylor in batting action during the U19 cricket World Cup aga

England U19 cricket team player Callum Taylor in batting action during the U19 cricket World Cup against West Indies U19 cricket team at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Picture: ICC - Credit: ICC

Talented teen Callum Taylor talks to David Freezer about his hopes of a breakthrough into first class cricket

The Essex T20 Blast squad, including England test captain Alastair Cook, pose for a selfie during th

The Essex T20 Blast squad, including England test captain Alastair Cook, pose for a selfie during the media day at the Essex County Ground, Chelmsford, with Callum Taylor pictured far right in the middle row. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

The next chapter in the developing career of Norfolk youngster Callum Taylor could well be explosive, if the talented all-rounder gets his way.

The 18-year-old is targeting runs – and plenty of them – as he looks to force his way into the first team at Essex this season.

Norfolk's youngest-ever century maker enjoyed a profitable winter at the Under-19 World Cup with England and is hoping his big-hitting style will help continue his rapid rise to prominence.

'I think to start with I'll be in and around the fringes, hopefully anyway and then the main objective is to do well in the second team and push down the door to get in the first team and then once I get in to try and secure a spot and keep it,' the former Cromer High School pupil said.

Jaik Mickleburgh and Callum Taylor at Essex County Cricket Club's media day. Picture: Su Anderson

Jaik Mickleburgh and Callum Taylor at Essex County Cricket Club's media day. Picture: Su Anderson - Credit: Su Anderson


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'It's more my red ball stuff, going on to get big hundreds because that's how you get noticed and get into the first team.

'Forties, fifties, sixties aren't really going to get you anywhere, it's the big hundreds, hundred and fifties, and my bowling as well.

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'One of the main aims for this year is to bowl a lot more. If I'm going to do well and get into the first team then I need to be doing well with bat and ball.'

The right-arm medium-pace bowler has played regularly in the Second Eleven Championship for Essex in the past two seasons, finishing with an average of 29.66 with the bat last season, scoring 267 runs from nine innings and finishing the campaign with a highest score of 82.

He bowled 43 overs in those five matches, finishing with an average of 19.50 runs conceded per wicket, taking a total of eight wickets for 156 and best figures of four for 21.

Taylor hopes that as well as second XI action, he can also force his way into the first team for T20 Blast and One-Day Cup games, with the long-term aim of getting into the County Championship side alongside the likes of Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara.

'The way my style is it is more suited to the one-day stuff and once again with my bowling I'll try and get some overs in during the T20s,' he added. 'The way I play, T20s and white ball stuff, it's my main aim this year to get a spot in those teams and stay in there.'

Taylor won't be playing locally for Swardeston in the East Anglian Premier League again this season, as he tries to cut down his travel time, but has signed for Bury St Edmunds.

He hopes his success with Essex will mean he struggles to make time for Saturday club cricket though, as he looks to keep his career on an upward curve.

'I've got two more years because I signed an extension at Essex last year so this year would be really nice to put down a marker and hopefully things go well,' Taylor added.

'And if they don't then hopefully I've still got that opportunity of hopefully getting away in the winter and then looking to come back the next year and do well again.

'But hopefully this year will be the year.'

• Taylor and Jaik Mickleburgh were both expected to be involved for the Essex second XI in a three-day pre-season friendly against Nottinghamshire at Castle Park in Colchester yesterday.

Heavy rain saw the game abandoned though and they will have to wait until Sunday, when Essex seconds host Suffolk in a one-day friendly at Billericay before beginning their Second Eleven Championship campaign at Middlesex on Monday.

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