Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has admitted that he is excited and nervous about his Test debut against India in Southampton.
Buttler was called up to replace Matt Prior, who announced that he would be taking a break from international cricket to have his Achilles surgically repaired.
“Excitement is probably the main one,” Buttler said. “I’m obviously delighted to get the call up. It’s a proud moment for me, the chance to represent my country in Test cricket.
“It’s a mix of excitement and a few nerves. I think it’s good that I know the set-up and the guys, so introductions have been pretty easy. I’m looking forward to training and then getting amongst it.
“I’ve had some good days on this ground – my first first-class hundred was on this ground and had an exciting Twenty20 finals day with Somerset as well. Usually when you come here you get a pretty good wicket. I enjoy the ground and I like the place – it will obviously have some special memories for me.”
Buttler also noted that he is going to focus more on enjoying his Test debut rather than pressuring himself to do well with both the bat and wicketkeeping gloves.
“Maybe mentally I’ve got over the fact that I’m closer to playing Test cricket than I thought I was,” he said. “My cricket has been going in the right direction – I’m really pleased with the way it is going. I’m probably far from the finished article – I don’t think anyone would be at this stage of their career. But I’m delighted to have this chance and I’m determined to enjoy it.
“I don’t think anyone really steps into and sets the world alight straight away. I’m not really expecting to do that. It would be great if I could. It’s down to me to remember what I’ve done to get me this far, and what has helped me in my county career, and in limited overs cricket for England.
“It’s a step into the unknown because I’ve never done it before. It was probably something I didn’t think I’d get to so quickly.”
Even though India are 1-0 up in the series, Buttler insisted that there was a good vibe in the dressing room.
“Morale is not down at all,” he said. “Things obviously get built up on the outside. The guys are hurting and disappointed that they are not quite playing the brand of cricket or getting the results they want. But there is an underlying determination from everyone to turn that around.”
Buttler added that the entire England squad are backing captain Alastair Cook to end his scoring drought soon.
“Everyone is right behind him – he knows what a quality leader he is of everyone, and what a great player he is for England,” Buttler said. “Everyone is determined to see him get back to his best. It’s a great quality he has shown throughout his international career, that determination and doggedness to put things right, to find a way.”