‘I’m too old now to get picked on potential’ – Buttler aiming to justify Test spot
Jos Buttler considers himself too old to be picked on mere potential in the England Test squad, but admits that he continues to be ‘very committed’ to the format, despite his recent lack of form.
Buttler hasn’t crossed 50 in his last 10 Test innings, but was retained as the primary wicket-keeper for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka next month, a position he considers fortunate to be in.
“My performances may have meant that decision would be taken out of my hands. But, fortunately for me, I’m on the tour [to Sri Lanka] and really excited about it. I’m very committed to Test cricket,” Buttler said at a promotional event for Rajasthan Royals, his IPL franchise.
“It’s the best form of the game, it’s the hardest form of the game. That’s what makes it – when you have good moments – the most rewarding. You want to be a part of that.”
One of England’s most prolific white-ball stars, Buttler has had questions asked about his future after numerous Test misfirings. “It’s not happening for Jos Buttler,” Michael Atherton had said, after Buttler ended the recent South Africa series with a high score of 29 in seven innings.
The wicket-keeper batsman, however, has learned to cut out external opinion from his previous experiences. “Maybe if I look back to when I first lost my place in the Test team, I probably listened to too many people,” Buttler said. “Everyone’s got an opinion on how you should play, and if you’re not good with how you manage that, you can confuse yourself, which I certainly did four or five years ago.”
The squad also features Ben Foakes, the wicket-keeper batsman, who scored a century on debut on Sri Lankan soil in 2018. Buttler, however, is being looked upon as the primary glovesman, and is confident that he will be able to repay the faith.
“I’ve got massive self-belief, and a lot of it is about fulfilling potential,” Buttler said. “I’m too old now to get picked on potential, but I feel that I haven’t got to the level I know I can get to, and that’s a big driver for me.
“I haven’t quite played as well as I would have liked, but you don’t become a bad player overnight, so I’m looking to repay some faith and get back to playing my best cricket.”