Paul Collingwood backs 'match-winning' batsman to shine against India

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England go into the third Test against India with more than just a slight amount of uncertainty about their batting line up.

The tourists' failure to press home their ascendency in the first encounter came back to bite them in last week's second Test as they suffered a resounding 246 run defeat in Visakhapatnam.

Such a heavy loss is always likely to result in changes with struggling batsman Ben Duckett looking almost certain to drop out for the next game in the four-match series.

Duckett got scores of just 5 and 0 last week and despite being one of the top run scorers in the country for Northamptonshire over the summer, coach Trevor Bayliss is expected to pick Jos Buttler ahead of him.

That selection will bring its own amount of controversy, however, as Buttler has hardly played any long format cricket of late.

The wicket-keeper batsman's last Test appearance came over a year ago and since then he has been focusing on the shorter versions of the game.

Regardless, Buttler has received the support of Paul Collingwood, who thinks the 26-year-old could just be England's saviour.

“In Indian conditions, it doesn't get much better, skill-wise, than Jos Buttler,” Collingwood said, as per The Mirror.

“We've all seen what he can do with a white ball in the one-dayers, and he really is probably one of the top five batsmen in the world in that format. He can be so destructive and in India sometimes you just need someone to win you a game.

“We saw KP do it in Mumbai on the last trip, and you need someone to do something extra special if you're going to win out here.

“The rhythm of the games out here in India tend to have the same tempo for the first three or four days and then everything accelerates in the last day and a half. That is where you need someone to do something extra-special and in Jos Buttler you've got that ability to be a match-winner and do something extraordinary.

"There are a few players capable of making an impact across all the formats and England have to look after them, but they are special players who can win you matches.”

Of England's other potential match-winners, Collingwood cited the example of Ben Stokes as someone who Buttler can aspire to emulate.

A disappointing 2015 saw Stokes dropped from the side temporarily but since returning, the all-rounder has been in inspired form and is one of the first names of Bayliss' teamsheet in all formats of the game.

Collingwood added: “You can see how Ben Stokes has been learning as he's gone along in International cricket.

“When he first hit the international arena his own game wasn't 100 percent complete, but he's gone into different conditions in different formats and learnt how to compete.

“He's a real competitor and he'll make sure that he finds a way to score runs and take wickets for whatever team he is playing for and wherever that may be.

“Ben Stokes really does tick all the boxes now.”

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Joe Root
Kevin Pietersen
England cricket
India cricket

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