Flintoff says Buttler is "lucky to be playing Test Cricket"
Jos Buttler might have become the new cricketing sensation once again after his sensational run of form in the second phase of the IPL at the back of which Rajasthan Royals sneaked into the playoffs. He followed that up with two scintillating fifties in the two Tests against Pakistan, built on aggression and counter-punching. Unlike the English media and skipper Joe Root, a certain fellow county player is not too impressed by his presence in the test side.
Speaking at a Sky Ocean Rescue event in Cardiff, Lancashire's Andrew Flintoff was critical of Buttler despite his Man-of-the-Match performance at England's comeback win at Headingly. "Buttler is lucky to be playing Test cricket," said Freddie.
Flintoff added, “He has got to take his chance and he has grabbed it with both hands, I wouldn’t say he has cemented his spot but he is going to be there for a while now." The statement was perhaps a reflection of the scepticism that has always surrounded Buttler's presence in the Test side because of his lack of application to dig deep and play the ball gently along the carpets.
This is the classic dilemma that has always hung over players of attacking instincts in test cricket. While their potential to turn the face of the match in a single session or to score runs on dodgy strips is unmatched, more often than not they are found wanting because of their vulnerabilities in the more traditional aspects. While Buttler may have hit his way to two significant contributions in the first two Tests, it is yet to be seen how he fares against the penetrating swing bowling of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and the irresistible accuracy of Jasprit Bumrah.
Buttler, though, is transcending all cynicism these days, with a calm head he will only look at the top of his bat's handle and carry on.
“It was an important win and they played quite well, but I think they will be kicking themselves. They should have won at Lord’s as well. After the first Test match, everyone was talking up Pakistan and they were alright. I think we just under-performed. The signs are good for England, but let’s not get carried away," for an outspoken person usually, Flintoff was quite apprehensive of what is finally a small ray of hope in English cricket after they went for nine consecutive tests across three countries without registering a win.
Flintoff also voiced support for the under-fire duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, emphasizing on the longevity of their service to English cricket saying, "We have got to stick with them for a while longer.”