Sunday, March 31st, 2024

Taylor Looking Forward To Division One And Challenging For Silverware

Tom Taylor says the belief that Worcestershire can challenge for silverware and having another crack at Division One cricket in the County Championship were key factors in him signing for the county.

Taylor, who signed a four year contract at New Road last autumn, is confident Worcestershire “are only going upwards” under CEO Ashley Giles.

He feels his best years are still ahead of him and is aiming to develop into a genuine all-rounder in red ball cricket.

The former Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire player has quickly settled into life at New Road with his new team-mates and now found a house in the city.

He said: “The winter has been really good. It’s nice to get in, enjoy the company of the lads and get to know them.

“I feel like the club is in an exciting position and doing well in all three competitions and I wanted to join up with that.

“The lads got promoted last year, and it is a big motivating factor for me to play the best standard of cricket I could, give Division One another crack and challenge for silverware.

“Ashley Giles was a massive influence in me signing. When you’ve got someone coming in, and committing themselves to the club, and making the club better like Ash, it’s really good.

“He’s been the MD of England cricket so to have him at the club, driving the club forward, it is only going to go one way.

“The feeling around the place is it is a place going only upwards and I wanted to be part of that.

“I spoke to Richo (Alan Richardson) previously a lot about bowling, and Richard Jones as well, and I’d already had a lot of ties to the club anyway. But the few meetings I had with them, it was really impressive and quite easy to join.”

Taylor has taken 169 first class wickets, in addition to a further 81 in T20 and List A cricket, as well as showing tremendous hitting power with the bat, including a century against the Rapids in last summer’s Metro Bank One Day Cup tie.

But he is determined to keep on improving during the next four years.

He said: “That’s why I wanted to commit for such a long period of time. I wanted to commit to the club and the club to commit to me really.

“I want my best years to be ahead of me and not just these next four, but hopefully I’ll go on much longer and contribute to Worcestershire winning games and winning trophies and finish my career really strongly. That will be my hope.”

Taylor is relishing the opportunity of another season of top flight cricket in the County Championship and the challenges it will present.

He said: “The difference in Division One is it feels like you don’t get much of a let off. Every team is an outstanding team.

“It is tough cricket, there are no real games that drift along, unless you are into day four and the pitch is really flat.

“But it is a great challenge for the club, and for me, and I want to try and play the best I can do.

“I’ve had two and a bit years cricket in Division One. They have been massive learning curves and I hope to take that into this team and the results we can get this summer.”

Taylor is determined to try and make his mark with bat and ball in red cricket and be a consistent performer.

He said: “I feel like my batting has been more suited to one day cricket during the last few years but it is a big target for me to try and improve that in red ball cricket and become as genuine an all-rounder as I can be.

“It will be a big push to try and bat in the top six or seven. That would be amazing.

“I feel I’ve got that in T20 and 50 over cricket but I’d love to get that in four day cricket as well.

“I’ve been practicing that in the winter. It has been the majority of my practice along with plenty of other things as well.

“Looking back now, I’m 10 times a better bowler now than I was when I started out.

“But it was really good to experience cricket at a young age, especially when I was at Derbyshire and take that experience into whom I am as a cricketer now.

“It’s about making consistent performances for the team and help create winning situations for the club.”

Taylor is willing to fill whatever role with the ball is best for the team.

He said: “I try and be as flexible as I can be for the team. If there are clear bowlers that bowl with the new ball, then I am happy to come on first change.

“If there is not, then I’m happy to switch it around and be a bit flexible with it. I’m not precious about being a new ball bowler or not. I’m quite open to it.”

Taylor is looking forward to bowling alongside Joe Leach who is making good progress with his rehab after a knee operation.

He said: “I’ve been a big admirer of Joe over many years. When you think about Worcestershire’s four-day team over the past how many years, he would be one of the first names you would speak about.

“It’s going to be great bowling with him and being on the same side of him.”