I never doubted Jos Buttler’s Test abilities: Ed Smith
Since being recalled to the Test team, Jos Buttler has made over 500 runs. @Getty

Ed Smith, the national selector, has stated that he was ‘absolutely committed’ to recalling Jos Buttler to England’s Test team because he wished to see the wicketkeeper-batsman channel his talent into the five-day format.

Since being recalled to England’s Test team in June after a bumper IPL run, Buttler has scored 510 runs in 11 innings at an average of 51, with a maiden century and four fifties. Buttler made 14, 67 and 80* in the drawn two-match series against Pakistan and now against India has scored 0, 1, 24, 39, 106, 21, 69 and 89 to be his team’s leading-run getter of the series.

“One of my attitudes to selection is that there has to be a compelling reason not to have one of your top players in the team and I couldn’t see any way Buttler was not in our seven best batsmen,” Smith told Sky Sports ahead of day four of the fifth Test at Kia Oval. “I also feel he has the potential, due to his character, technique and mastery, to go on and adapt to Test cricket and not just become a good player, but a really fine Test cricketer.”

Smith named Buttler, 28, in England’s Test team in May while the maverick batsman was scorching the run-charts for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, despite not having played Test cricket for 18 months.

“It’s a pick I was absolutely committed to happening and the way he has played has been a positive. I never doubted Buttler had the ability or that he would repay that investment,” said Smith.  “It was a challenge for me as I knew it was different. It would have been an easy criticism to say he hadn’t played any red-ball cricket and if it had gone wrong I would have been the one to have borne that risk, which is fine.

“When I took the job I said I was going to have the courage of what I believe – if I believe something to be right, I won’t shy away from doing it, even if it’s potentially going to play really badly if it goes wrong.”