Geoffrey Boycott, the former England opener has advocated for out of form Jos Buttler’s omission from the Test side, considering his recent failures. Geoffrey Boycott wants Jonny Bairstow to don the gloves instead, as he is also a better batter than Jos Buttler in Test cricket.
Jos Buttler has been poor with the bat and gloves during the ongoing Ashes 2021/22 series. The 31-year old has averaged a dismal 16, with a best of 39, across four Tests and seven innings. Behind the stumps, he fluffed a couple of catches in Adelaide, which proved key in England’s defeat.
Geoffrey Boycott: It’s Time To Move On From Jos Buttler
Geoffrey Boycott said that England must move on from Jos Buttler, and not pick him based on his white-ball reputation. The 81-year old noted Jos Buttler’s inability to deliver under pressure.
“It’s time to move on from Buttler. England can’t be sentimental or be seduced by his brilliant performances in one-day cricket. The fact is he isn’t doing enough to keep his Test place. He only has two centuries in 57 Test matches.”
“In the Ashes, he has played 14 Test matches, and averaged 19. That isn’t good enough. Buttler should now go. He isn’t as good a wicketkeeper as Bairstow, and Bairstow is a better batsman against quality bowlers – that’s the important thing. For some time now, Buttler hasn’t delivered in Test cricket when the pressure is on,” Geoffrey Boycott said.
The keeper-batter will miss the final Test in Hobart due to a finger injury, as revealed by Joe Root. With Jonny Bairstow also doubtful, England may have to manage with Ollie Pope or Sam Billings behind the stumps. England also has to deal with injuries to Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow ahead of the fifth Ashes Test.
Geoffrey Boycott Reckons Jonny Bairstow’s Ton Might Revive His Test Career
Geoffrey Boycott referred to England’s 36-4 in the first innings in the Sydney Test and blasted them for their recurring top-order collapses. He pointed out that it has become a regular occurrence, which has put more pressure on the middle order to perform.
“England or any other country can’t win Test matches if they keep being three or four wickets down for next to nothing; they were 36-4 in the first innings, and all through the series, it’s been like that,” Geoffrey Boycott said.
“The middle and lower order are nearly always fighting an uphill battle by the time they come in. The opposition fast bowlers are on top and high on confidence,” Geoffrey Boycott said.
The 108-Test veteran reflected on Jonny Bairstow’s defiant first-innings hundred in Sydney and thinks that might revive his Test career.
In this regard, Boycott wrote: “Bairstow looks as if he has turned the corner with his batting – about time, too. It shouldn’t have taken that long to solve his problems. It’s not as if he has never done it at Test level because this is his seventh century, to go with 22 half-centuries,” Geoffrey Boycott said.
“He might not be able to play the next Test match because of his thumb injury, and if he does play, keeping wickets with a damaged thumb would be stupid,” Geoffrey Boycott said.
England batted 102 overs on the fifth day of the fourth Test to avoid going down 4-0 in the series. The last-wicket pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad survived two overs to thwart hosts Australia. The final Test starts on 14th January in Hobart. The fitness of Ben Stokes (side strain) and Jonny Bairstow (right thumb) will also be monitored in the upcoming days.
Jos Buttler is likely to be replaced in the playing XI by Sam Billings – who is expected to make his Test debut and don the gloves. Sam Billings has played 25 ODIs and 33 T20Is for England.