Cricket

Why Jos Buttler needs to be dropped by England

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There has been a lot of discussion in recent days following the end of the Ashes test match series about who should be the new opening batting partner of captain Alastair Cook, at the expense of Adam Lyth.

While there is definitely a need for a new opening batsman following Lyth's disappointing form, another person whose position definitely has to come under review is that of the wicket keeper batsman Jos Buttler.

Bad Form

While Buttler has improved behind the stumps, his form with the bat has been terrible scoring just 122 runs in 8 innings at an average of 15.25 - number 9 Stuart Broad scored more runs (134) at a better average (19.14) - in fact Buttler scored just 7 more runs than Lyth in the entire series.

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Change of style

The issue with Buttler is that he has not played the same way that he normally does in limited overs cricket, even though his form in that format was the entire reason he was brought into the test side in the first place to replace Matt Prior.

Buttler is brilliant in the shorter form of the game using his fast hands, cool head and aggressive front foot nature along with his innovative shot making to truly carve out a place for himself as England's one-day finisher at 6 or 7.

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However, not much of this, which has got him where he is today, was on display in the Ashes series with Buttler instead trying to play more traditional test match innings, much more defensively. The fact of the matter is that he is not a very good player defensively, with former England spin bowler Graeme Swann stating that "he clearly has defensive flaws in his technique" and after seeing the way he has played in this series, it seems impossible to disagree.

Learn from Others

What Buttler needs to do is take a leaf out of the book of Moeen Ali and the aforementioned Broad who batted at 8 and 9 respectively and played aggressively against the Australian bowlers for good reward, sharing a partnership of 87 in just 19.3 overs in the third Ashes test.

Both players went out there with positive intent, scored quickly and really took the game away from the Australians. This is the way that Jos Buttler has to play in test matches.

I had the pleasure of being present at Lords when Buttler scored his maiden century for England - 121 from 74 balls in the 4th ODI of the series against Sri Lanka - it was a magnificent display of hitting and it almost won England the game from a position where even the mere thought of that would have seemed ridiculous before he came to the crease.

The dynamic and innovative hitting he displayed that day seemed a long way away this Ashes series where he had a strike rate of just 49.39 - one that was only slightly better than the openers and long time number 11 James Anderson.

It just seems that while it is only natural that you will score slower in test match cricket than in the shorter forms of the game, that Buttler has gone too far the other way, playing completely differently to what got him selected in the first place when he should just stick to what has worked for him in the past at international level.

This bad form has continued over into the one day series against Australia with Buttler's most recent dismissal - LBW to part time spinner Glenn Maxwell for a duck off 5 deliveries - just epitomising the way he is batting at the moment.

He was caught on the crease, not really getting forward to the ball and was hit plumb on the pad. The lack of foot movement illustrates the lack of confidence he has at the moment and if he is unable to successfully negotiate a part-time spinner in English conditions, then what hope does he have against front line spinners in spinning conditions?

Return to Lancashire

I'm not suggesting by any means that Buttler's test career with England should be over, I just feel that considering the form he is in he really needs to just go away from the highly pressurised test match arena, to play his natural, attacking game in the last few County games of the season for Lancashire.

This would be really beneficial for him to help regain that belief and confidence in his abilities so that he can come back into the England side and score runs.

With Jonny Bairstow already in the side and in much better form with the bat, it just seems silly to have two wicketkeeper batsman when one of them is not contributing at all with the bat.

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
The Ashes

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