Sarah Taylor

'Better placed to deal with challenges' – Sarah Taylor ready for India tour

England Women news

Sarah Taylor, the England wicket-keeper batter, who took an extended break from cricket to tend to her mental health, is set to make a comeback in the one-day international series against India.

Taylor, 29, had pulled out of the ICC World T20 2018 in the Caribbean, where England lost in the final to Australia. But, she is now ready to return to the national team and has been selected in the 16-member squad to travel to India later this month. 

"I am looking forward to going to India," she told Sky Sports. "There are obviously going to be a few road bumps and challenges in it, but I am probably in a better place in life to deal with those. I obviously have got the support of the ECB, which has been fantastic all the way through this whole process.

"From a mental health point of view, I would like to get to India first of all, that would be nice, and take it day by day, as it comes. Getting back on the field in an England shirt and playing with the girls would be pretty special.

"I knew the support I was getting from the ECB, Professional Cricketers Association and everyone has been amazing. I realised that without these people, I would never have achieved anything, I would never have got back and I probably wouldn't still be playing cricket."

Taylor, one of the most successful wicket-keepers in the history of the game, has scored more than 6400 runs in international cricket. She was also a part of England's ODI World Cup-winning squad in 2017.

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She recently got a diploma in life-coaching and she told the BBC that it had made her more "self-aware". "I was proud to frame it and post it on social media the other day. You can't give out those theories until you've tested them on yourself. I have become unbelievably self -aware in the last six-12 months. It's just a way to be someone's rock and a sounding board to try and get them in the right direction," she explained. 

Taylor believes that she has struck the "right balance" between cricket and mental health, and is now ready for the India ODIs, which will be important for the ICC Women's Championship Standings.

"I'm honing into what I really love about cricket and what brings out the best in me when playing, and that's quite a nice focus. That's why I'm still playing and I'm back," she added to Sky Sports.

Mark Robinson, the England head coach, said that the return of Taylor, as well as the experienced Katherine Brunt, will give the squad a "huge lift". "They're two really good players," he said. "That's for sure. To get your best players, most experienced players, is a huge lift to the squad.

"It is going to be a big test for her (Taylor), but everybody who supports her and is around her is really confident. Hopefully, this will be the start of her being able to do more tours."

India and England lock horns in three ODIs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 22, 25, and 28 February respectively. 

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