Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England head coach Trevor Bayliss has said that he is “all for” wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after Jonny Bairstow prolonged his stay in the Test team.
Bairstow, who has replaced Buttler behind the stumps, had a sensational outing during the second Test against South Africa in Cape Town as he scored his maiden Test century and ended up with a career-best innings of 150 not out.
England are scheduled to play a Test series against New Zealand in May and June, but should Buttler’s services not be required, Bayliss sees no harm in the 25-year-old plying his trade in the IPL.
“If the opportunity arises and Buttler is not in the Test team and that IPL window is a possibility, I’d be all for it,” Bayliss said. “It’s something we’ve spoken about. Personally I’d think it would be something similar along the lines of Adil Rashid.
“If Jos is in the Test team he’ll be playing Test cricket for England. He definitely wants to play more Test cricket for England which is great. But obviously Jonny’s there at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Bayliss admitted that Bairstow had kept “pretty well” during the second Test as he only conceded four byes in the 211 overs England bowled.
However, Bairstow did put down a fairly simple chance that would have seen South Africa batsman Temba Bavuma dismissed for 77. Instead, he went on to make history by becoming the first black African to score a Test century for South Africa.
“Apart from that one chance I thought he did a pretty good job,” Bayliss said. “He fumbled two balls and unfortunately one of them was a nick.
“Certainly his wicketkeeping is a work in progress, but I think our other wicketkeepers are as well. Plenty of other wicketkeepers around the world have started off their international careers not in the greatest fashion but ended up pretty decent keepers. It’s only fairly early in Jonny’s wicketkeeping career.
“He works very, very hard at it and I’d expect over a period of time for him to get better. Both Jonny and Jos work terribly hard on their keeping. I’d expect over a period of time for him to get better.
“He knows the number one reason he is in the team is to keep wicket. So that is definitely a focus of ours: to make him better, as it is with Jos as well.
“And we know that both of them, in form, can quite possibly play in this Test team as a batter anyway. So it’s all in front of both of them.”