Opinion: Jos Buttler is yet to fulfil his talent in Tests
- Jos Buttler needs to find form if he is to cement his position in the Test side
England levelled the series 1-1 with South Africa as they secured a nervy win at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town. The visitors came back stronger after suffering a defeat in the first match by registering an emphatic victory by 189 runs in the 2nd Test of the ongoing 4-match Test series for the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy.
It was one of those gratifying Tests for England where they won the match due to collective effort. Men like James Anderson, Ben Stokes, Dominic Sibley and more were responsible for their side's triumph in Cape Town and it won't be far-fetched to say that England walks into the third Test with their heads held high and noses in front.
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While a host of players performed well, a certain Jos Buttler failed to impress yet again and it is quite evident he is struggling against the moving red ball. The swashbuckling Englishman is one of the best ODI batsmen in the world but somehow he has failed to recreate the same magic in the original format of the game. Ardent followers of English cricket will agree to the fact that Buttler looks vulnerable in Test cricket which is something not many have witnessed in the white-ball cricket.
The Taunton born wicketkeeper-batsman has just one 100 to his name in 39 Test matches which is hard to digest simply because the man has an awe-inspiring record in Iimited overs cricket. Buttler's shaky confidence against the red ball is key to his poor performances in the longer format. At times he has looked out of sorts which has become a major concern for England. The Test camp is blessed with young prospects but these budding superstars will need ample amount of time before they can win matches on their own and till then, men like Jos Buttler need to step up and take their side over the line. Of course he has done that in the shorter formats, so the question is not on his talent but how he copes with the red ball.
England were pushing for a big score in the 2nd innings of their recent match-up against South Africa and the stage was set for Jos Buttler to make a massive impact. But England's wicketkeeper missed the opportunity to make a mark and it won't be wrong to say that had the same chance been presented to him in ODI cricket, he would've surely thrived.
The Lancashire man has all the qualities to succeed in the longest format but the first thing which he needs to do is befriend the red ball to fulfil his talent in Tests.
Note: All statistics as of January 10, 2020