CALLUM Taylor is hoping his insider knowledge will help to lift the lid on Gloucestershire’s key man ahead of today’s One-Day Cup match in Chelmsford.

Michael Klinger has shown a liking for the Essex attack in recent seasons, clubbing 568 runs in eight County Championship and NatWest T20 Blast innings.

In that time he has hit three centuries, three 50s and only been out four times for an average of 142.

The Australian is expected to be an important figure today but Taylor, 19, who is likely to perform 12th-man fielding duties again against Gloucestershire, saw a different side to Klinger over the winter when they played grade cricket together for Mount Lawley Hawks in Perth.

“He was struggling for a bit of form for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield,” said Taylor. “When he had the chance to play with Mount Lawley, he saw it as an opportunity to come and get some runs.”

Against Rockingham Mandurah just before Christmas, Klinger came in to join Taylor, captain for the day, at second wicket down and the pair put on exactly 200 in just shy of two and a half hours.

Taylor scored 212 from 186 balls (32 fours, six sixes) and Klinger was unbeaten on 101 (127 balls, 11 fours, three sixes).

“It was brilliant,” says Taylor, the former England Under-19s all-rounder. “Just to have someone like that at the other end. He’s a very calm, relaxed guy at the crease. It was great to have someone as good as that to help me with my batting, just to watch and see how he goes about his business.

“On the day he was struggling for form, so he was more concerned about his own innings. He was struggling to time the ball, so it was more the case of us both batting for a long time together.

“Time at the crease gets your rhythm back and from then on he played really well.

“You can hit as many balls as you want in the nets, but you don’t get the same feel as spending time in the middle. Any game is worthwhile to play in when you can, just to keep yourself in-form or get in-form.”

In February, the 36-year-old was called up to make his international debut in three T20 matches for Australia against Sri Lanka, bludgeoning a top-score of 62.

And the Mount Lawley experience also paid off for Taylor, returning to England as the Hawks’ top run-getter with 680 as well as recording best-bowling figures of six for 41.

“It was nice to be away for the winter,” he said. “I probably put a little bit too much pressure on myself last season.

“Being in a new team, a new group of players, it felt like a fresh start. It was a chance to go away and work on my game.”