If under-fire England captain Alastair Cook ever needed a Test debutant to perform, then it’s incoming wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who replaces the injured Matt Prior.
Cook’s time as leader of England’s cricket team is borrowed to put it mildly, but in Lancashire keeper Buttler the skipper may just be delivered with a match-winning saviour.
As England move onto the Rose Bowl 1-0 down with three Tests to play against India, it’s fairly safe to assume anything other than a home victory – rated at 7/4 by Ladbrokes – will spell the end of Cook’s reign.
Buttler’s inclusion for Prior has to be seen as a major positive for Cook though, as the former Somerset batsman has shown a real flare for scoring runs in both shorter formats for his country.
The stats are nothing short of breathtaking in both ODI’s and T20’s for England, where he boasts a batting strike rate of 128.27 and 134.57 respectively.
The 23-year-old’s front-foot aggression was at its best on Sri Lanka’s recent tour, where Buttler recorded his highest ODI score to date, reeling off 121 from just 74 balls at Lords in a bash which contained four sixes and eleven other boundaries.
Of course, the switching of mentalities to the Test environment can be a tough one, but all the signs are there that Buttler can make the metamorphosis smoothly.
Thus far for new side Lancashire in County Championship Division One, Buttler has acquitted himself admirably.
In just eight four-day matches the Lancs number six has amassed five 50s, plus a top score of 100 not out.
That’s an average a little in excess of 40 for a middle-order player and should stand him in great stead in the Test arena.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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