Image courtesy of: ABC
“I’m more ambitious than that and I want to play Test cricket”
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has announced that he wants to branch out into Test cricket as he is “concerned about being pigeon-holed as a one-day player”.
Buttler, who recently moved from Somerset to Lancashire, noted that he could do much more than bat aggressively.
Buttler also admitted that he left Somerset at the end of this county season since he was sick and tired of being the back-up to Craig Kieswetter.
The 23-year-old believes that under the guidance of head coach Peter Moores at Lancashire, he can develop into a solid Test player and give Matt Prior a run for his money.
“I was a little bit concerned about being pigeon-holed as a one-day player and I’m keen to get rid of that tag,” Buttler said. “I’m more ambitious than that and I want to play Test cricket.
“I want to become a wicketkeeper. When you’re keeping wicket for England in one-day cricket and not doing it at Somerset, there’s bound to be a bit of frustration. I think that’s obvious to anyone that if you want to keep wicket for England, you’ve got to be keeping day in, day out. I think I’d been doing myself a disservice and taking a huge risk if I wasn’t plying my trade in county cricket as a wicketkeeper while trying to perform at international level.”
Since making his debut for Somerset, which ironically came against Lancashire, Buttler has averaged 31.73 in 48 matches and has registered nine half-centuries and three centuries.
Buttler is hoping to add to that tally at Lancashire, where he feels his wicketkeeping skills will develop even further under Moore’s expert guidance.
“I know your numbers have to stack up and that’s down to me to turn myself into a consistent run-maker in first-class cricket,” Buttler said. “Now I’ve made the decision to leave Somerset and come here and further not just my wicketkeeping but further my cricket as a whole. It’s an exciting place to be, there are some great people to work with and I’m excited where my cricket can get to both batting and wicketkeeping.”
Buttler conceded that he has had a “tough year” since his contract was the hot topic for many months, but he decided to sign with Lancashire, despite Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire both showing signs of interest in signing the talented 23-year-old.
“It’s been a tough year,” he said. “The easiest place was just focusing on playing cricket. It’s when I wasn’t playing when people were asking questions and at the end of the day, you’ve got to do what’s right for your career, and this is the right move. I’m excited about it, and am excited about where I can get to as a player. This is a great place to be doing it.
“Having met with Peter Moores and Mike Watkinson, the ambition they’ve got at this brilliant venue is exciting. That’s something I want to be a part of. It is a massive club. As I walked in with my agent Neil Fairbrother, I realise this is a huge place. Coming from Somerset, which is quite a small club, you realise this is a big club, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”