Jos Buttler. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott has advocated for Jos Buttler‘s omission from the Test side, considering his recent failings. Boycott wants Jonny Bairstow to don the gloves, as he is also a better batter than Buttler in Test cricket.
Buttler has been poor with the bat and gloves during the ongoing Ashes series. The 31-year old has averaged a dismal 16, with a best of 39, across four Tests and seven innings. Behind the stumps, he fluffed a couple of catches in Adelaide, which proved key in England’s defeat.
In his column for The Telegraph, Boycott said that England must move on from Buttler, and not pick him based on his white-ball reputation. The 81-year old noted Buttler’s inability to deliver under pressure, observing:
“It’s time to move on from Buttler. England can’t be sentimental or be seduced by his brilliant performances in one-day cricket. The fact is he isn’t doing enough to keep his Test place. He only has two centuries in 57 Test matches.” “In the Ashes, he has played 14 Test matches, and averaged 19. That isn’t good enough. Buttler should now go. He isn’t as good a wicketkeeper as Bairstow, and Bairstow is a better batsman against quality bowlers – that’s the important thing. For some time now, Buttler hasn’t delivered in Test cricket when the pressure is on.”
The keeper-batter will miss the final Test in Hobart due to a finger injury, as revealed by Joe Root. With Bairstow also doubtful, England may have to manage with Ollie Pope or Sam Billings behind the stumps.
Geoffrey Boycott urges England’s top order to pull up their socks
Geoffrey Boycott. (Image Credits: Getty)
Geoffrey Boycott referred to England’s 36-4 in the first innings in the Sydney Test, and blasted them for their recurring top-order collapses. He pointed out that it has become a regular occurence, which has put pressure on the middle order, saying:
“England or any other country can’t win Test matches if they keep being three or four wickets down for next to nothing; they were 36-4 in the first innings, and all through the series, it’s been like that.” “The middle and lower order are nearly always fighting an uphill battle by the time they come in. The opposition fast bowlers are on top and high on confidence.”
The 108-Test veteran reflected on Bairstow’s defiant first-innings hundred in Sydney, and thinks that might revive his Test career. In this regard, Boycott wrote:
“Bairstow looks as if he has turned the corner with his batting – about time, too. It shouldn’t have taken that long to solve his problems. It’s not as if he has never done it at Test level because this is his seventh century, to go with 22 half-centuries.” “He might not be able to play the next Test match because of his thumb injury, and if he does play, keeping wickets with a damaged thumb would be stupid.”
England batted 102 overs on the fifth day of the fourth Test to avoid going down 4-0 in the series. The last wicket pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad survived two overs to thwart hosts Australia.
The final Test starts on 14th January in Hobart.