Jos Buttler sets sights on Test match call-up for England

Wicket-keeper hoping for Test debut

When the squad for the first Test of England’s summer against Sri Lanka is announced on Thursday, Jos Buttler will not be waiting for a call. Instead he will be preparing to play for Lancashire – possibly alongside Andrew Flintoff, the man he calls a “superstar” – in a Twenty20 Roses match against Yorkshire on Friday.

On Saturday Buttler brought Lord’s to life with an innings of sustained destructive quality that has rarely, if ever, been seen by an England player in a one-day international. And that is the key for Buttler’s immediate future: in a one-day international.

Later that evening, in the aftermath of a defeat that left an oddly warm glow because of what the Buttler did, Cook wrote off his chances of being in Thursday’s squad. One day, said the England captain, Buttler will be a Test player but not yet. With mounting concern over Matt Prior’s fitness the wicketkeeping spot appears wide open, just not to Buttler and that is a stance he cannot disagree with.

“I’m probably not ready for that, that’s my honest opinion and I guess that’s the opinion of others as well,” said Buttler. “Test match cricket is completely different format – I average 32 in first-class cricket and if I wasn’t playing one-day cricket I doubt I would be in the forefront of anyone’s mind when it comes to Test cricket.”

He now averages more in one-day internationals than he does as a first-class cricketer. Buttler moved north from his home county of Somerset this winter on the promise of being Lancashire’s first-choice keeper – a promise made by Peter Moores, then still Lancashire’s coach – and so getting the first-class game time to build a Test case.

Get Adobe Flash player

“My glove work needs to improve as well to be a Test cricketer but I’m 23, I’ve got plenty of time to work on those things,” said Buttler. “I’m getting better. This is probably the best start to a season I’ve had in first-class cricket. I’m starting to learn my method in four-day cricket. I’ve made the change to Lancashire to improve my wicketkeeping and do it full time.

“You have to remember it takes time. You can’t be a finished article at 23. You want to accelerate your development as quick as you can but you have to be realistic as well. It’s a pretty easy assumption to make looking at me as a player and where my game’s at – I’m probably not ready for Test cricket. It’s my hope and my ambition to turn into someone who is talked about for Test match cricket.”

On Saturday all the talk was about him as a one-day cricketer. England were in a hopeless position when he and Ravi Bopara came together at 111 for five. The task was to score at nine an over across 20 overs against an attack steeped in experience at this form of the game. It was that experience that told in the end but it deserves to be billed as the Buttler show. It is the power he gets into his shots that is so remarkable, that and the fact that those shots would be recognised by any free-scoring players from years gone by. They are classic in their construction, brutal in their execution.

“That’s the best I’ve ever played, no doubt about that,” said Buttler of scoring the fastest ever one-day hundred for England, eight balls quicker than Kevin Pietersen’s 69-ball effort. In all he faced 74 balls for his 121. Where, he was asked, does that power come from?

“I don’t know. Swing hard I guess,” said Buttler. He played squash when younger and believes that has helped. “Speed through the ball is what you are looking for – hand speed through the ball. There are some basics you have to abide by no matter what you are doing. There are certain things that are a given – watching the ball is something that is under-rated.”

The end result was defeat for England and they face a decider at Edgbaston tomorrow. It has been a rollercoaster of a series. Saturday was the highpoint with Kumar Sangakkara’s quality batsmanship, Lasith Malinga’s bowling and Buttler’s one-man blast after the batting blunders of the previous two games. On the evidence of the four preceding games what will happen in Birmingham is anyone’s guess, but it will be worth watching, just as Buttler’s batting should be for years to come. England have found a man who can empty the bars again.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week