Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has already captured the attention of the fans and national selectors with his awe-inspiring big hits and incredible athleticism. But, the question on everyone’s mind is how he is going to fare when he steps into the Test arena for the first time.
Well, that question is about to be answered when the 23-year-old makes his Test debut in the third Test against India in Southampton.
Buttler is receiving a golden opportunity to cement his place in the Test side after regular keeper Matt Prior announced that he would be taking a break from international cricket to have his Achilles surgically repaired.
Buttler has already shown flashes of brilliance in the last few months. Who can forget when he made the fastest ODI century by an England player against Sri Lanka in May. In addition to this, Buttler has been excelling in the County Championship with Lancashire as he has already scored one century and five half-centuries to take his overall average to 33.32.
National selector James Whitaker congratulated Buttler on being included in the Test squad, but added that he was extremely disappointed with the national team’s 95-run loss to India in the second Test at Lord’s.
“The result of the second Investec Test at Lord’s was very disappointing,” Whitaker said. “One or two of our players had encouraging performances, however, it is vital that the squad learns quickly and arrives in Southampton this week refreshed and ready to perform well in what will no doubt be another tough Test match.
“Congratulations to Jos Buttler who comes into the squad following some very exciting limited overs performances for England and a good record with Lancashire this season and fully deserves this opportunity. Matt Prior has contributed a huge amount to the England side over the years and should be proud of his record throughout his 79 Tests. He has decided to take time out of the game to work on his fitness and we will continue to follow his progress over the coming months.”
One glaring exclusion from the squad is Lancashire spinner Simon Kerrigan, who was earmarked to play in his second Test and take on the role as England’s frontline spinner. But, it seems that plan has been cancelled following all-rounder Moeen Ali’s brilliant performance with the ball. In the two Test matches thus far, Ali has taken seven wickets at an average of 38.28.
England squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes