Home > Features >

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Can Jos Buttler make successful transition to Test Cricket?

Jos-Buttler
Jos Buttler will play in his first Test against India at Southampton © Getty Images

With England crashing to an embarrassing defeat against India at Lord’s, Matt Prior, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has withdrawn citing fitness issues. Bharath Ramaraj explores whether his replacement, Jos Buttler can be the man who can turn things around for England in the Test series.

In 2010, when a 19-year-old from Taunton, Jos Buttler, walked to bat for his County, Somerset, in a List A game against Sussex at his home ground, opposition ranks seemed to be all over the hosts like a rash. Buttler though, played with frills and flourish of a 50-Test veteran who has lorded over the 22-yard strip for many years. Experienced bowlers like James Kirtley, Robin Martin-Jenkins, Naved-ul-Hasan Rana tried every trick in the trade, but were left gasping for breath as the wonder-kid was unstoppable. Somerset eventually, chased down the target of 292 runs in a mere 38.3 overs!

As Buttler weaved his magic with the willow, the sprinkling of skill and  ability to handle the pressure was evident. James Hildreth – a fine player himself had a stupefied look on his face, while watching the 19-year-old bat from the the end that day. In short, the youngster just soared through the wild blue yonder and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to leave Sussex in a state of daze.

Buttler now has a trunk full of match winning knocks to  his name in the shorter formats of the game. Recently, he even notched up the fastest hundred by an Englishman in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Sri Lanka. With wicketkeeper-batsman, Matt Prior going through a bad patch, the clamour for Buttler’s inclusion in the Test squad increased. Eventually, Prior withdrew before the third Test against India at Southampton. It resulted in Buttler replacing him.

So, can Buttler, whose favourite player is Kevin Pietersen turnaround England’s fortunes like his idol? For all his magnificence in the abridged versions of the game, he still has a few question marks against his name in four-day cricket. His First-Class average stands at 33.32 which for primarily a batsman who can keep wickets isn’t great.

Craig Kieswetter, who himself is well short of being called the best wicketkeeper in England was preferred to Buttler at Somerset. Now it  gives an inkling that Butler is still a work-in-progress as a wicketkeeper. With Lancashire struggling to find a replacement for the veteran, Luke Sutton and Gareth Cross not being able to make his presence felt, the County signed Buttler. It has at least meant that Buttler can play as batsman cum wicketkeeper.

Jos Buttler has abundance of talent, as he can play shots in a 360 degree-arc. However, he is still like a rough diamond that  needs to be polished. Now, it would be unfair to expect him to be a messiah of English cricket and help them to level the series by winning the third Test at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: Samuels and Chanderpaul rebuild for West Indies

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane: Sunil Gavaskar accuses India’s inability to claim lower-order wickets

Virat Kohli good, but MS Dhoni right man to lead India in Tests for now: Dilip Vengsarkar

Madhya Pradesh Ranji player Udit Birla accuses Narendra Hirwani of being abusive

Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar in Matthew Hayden’s World Cup Greatest XI

Live Streaming: India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 4

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India and tail

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane: India’s tail ought to take leaf out of Australian tail’s book

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here