Jos Buttler for Test matches – is it a gamble worth taking?
The unfortunate heart illness to England’s middle order batsman James Taylor has meant that there has been a spot in the middle order up for grabs. In England’s previous test assignment against Sri Lanka, Nick Compton endured a horrible patch and his stint at number 3 was simply a disaster. Compton seemed to be so out of sorts, that the right-hander ended up taking an indefinite break from the game.
With the Test series against Pakistan looming, the hosts can make an innovate move. Limited overs wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could fit into the playing XI as a pure batsman as his recent form in the shorter formats has been brilliant. The aggressive wicketkeeper batsman was at his supreme best against Sri Lanka recently in the ODI series.
England coach Trevor Bayliss dropped enough hints about Buttler potentially earning a recall into the test setup. “Knowing Jos and the type of sportsman he is – whatever he’s doing: darts, snooker, football, cricket – he’s a game player,” Bayliss said. “He could play as a bat, I’m sure. He could field, he wouldn’t have too many problems at all. We saw Jonny field in these one-day games and he’s a very similar sportsman as well, a good athlete, and I think Jos would be the same. He played in the IPL as a fielder. I think he could handle it.”
“Personally I think he’d be better in Test cricket if he played like he does in the white-ball game. That would be devastating, him coming in at six or seven and being able to play like that.”He certainly looks like he has a lot of confidence at the moment, this series against Sri Lanka has probably been as consistent as he’s played since I got here. The way he has struck the ball, the way he has carried himself, his keeping as well was pretty good, he’s certainly in contention,” Bayliss added, advising Buttler to play his natural game even in test matches.
The move to have Buttler in the test side could reap dividends for England, as he can change the course of a game in no time. With Jonny Bairstow already in the form of his life, this seems to be a gamble worth taking. The move could be sustained for the long run if Buttler manages to have a good outing against Pakistan. Considering how brutal he can be once he gets going, the flamboyant wicketkeeper batsman can change the course of a game in just a session.
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