James made his Somerset debut in 2003, playing in nine National League games and the Championship match with Derbyshire at Taunton.
James’s second Championship appearance was against Durham at Taunton in 2004 and he marked it by scoring 101 and 72 against an attack including Shoaib Akhtar. In the same season he represented England Under 19s against Bangladesh, scoring 210 in the second ‘Test’ on his home ground of Taunton. The previous winter he had played in the Under 19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Voted ‘Most Promising Young Cricketer of the Year’ in 2004 by the Cricket Society, James had a testing start to both 2005 and 2006 but emerged to become the youngest Somerset player to score a double century when he made 227 not out in the final Championship match of 2006 against Northamptonshire.
He carried this form into 2007 and passed 1,000 First Class runs for the first time, hitting four centuries in the process and winning his County Cap. In the 2007-8 winter he was rewarded with a place at the National Academy working with the England Development squad.
He was a key member of the victorious Twenty20 Cup team in 2005, making useful contributions with both bat and ball.
2008 and 2009 were not so successful although in the latter he became the youngest Somerset player to score a triple century when he hit an unbeaten 303 against Warwickshire at Taunton.
2010 was his most successful and consistent season to date and hit seven First Class centuries and made runs in every format of the game. He was rewarded with a place in the England Performance squad to Australia during the winter of 2010.
James captained the England Lions on their tour to the West Indies in 2011 and also appeared for them during that summer.
In 2012 he shared the county wicket partnership of 450 with Nick Compton and also scored his maiden T20 century against Glamorgan at Taunton.
2013 and 2014 were not James’ most consistent seasons, but in the former he scored 1,000 First Class runs for a fourth time.
In 2014 he passed 11,000 First Class runs in his career and scored 146 not out, sharing an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 205 with Lewis Gregory in the thrilling Royal London Cup victory over Durham at Taunton.
James enjoyed a hugely successful season in 2015 and was the leading run scorer in England. In his 16 Championship matches James scored 1,390 runs including three centuries at an average of 53.46, with a best of 220 not out.
In 2016 James enjoyed another good season and was the first player to 1000 first class runs, which included four centuries taking his total for Somerset to 37.
In the last match of the season against James made 135, adding 269 in a vital third wicket partnership with Chris Rogers against Notts, and batted for most of time with a broken ankle!
James had a rather disappointing season with the bat in 2017, but ended strongly with a crucial century in the final match of the season against Middlesex at Taunton, to end as the second highest run scorer in red ball cricket for Somerset.
However James ended as the county’s leading run scorer in the NatWest T20 Blast with 293 at 29.30. James enjoyed a well deserved testimonial season in 2017.
James enjoyed another very successful season in 2018, topping 1000 runs in the Championship as well as being leading run scorer in the RLODC. He also scored an impressive 403 runs in the Vitality Blast.
Whilst 2019 was not quite as productive as he may of wished, James still enjoyed several outstanding performances for Somerset. He hit the winning runs in the Royal London One-Day Cup Final at Lord’s, having also hit the winning runs in the Twenty20 Cup victory.
In his 18th season for Somerset, James continued to add to his ever-growing run tally as he edged to nearly 27,000 runs for his county. He remains of the highest ever run scorers in the County Championship and is the third highest century maker for Somerset with 54, behind Marcus Trescothick and Harold Gimblett.
LV= Insurance County Championship Division One 2022
LV= Insurance County Championship 2021
Vitality Blast 2021
Royal London Cup 2021