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Jos Buttler deserves one last crack at Test cricket

HUW TURBERVILL: In four-day Tests the Lancashire wicketkeeper could make such a difference for England

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Is Jos Buttler deserving of an England Test recall?

Giving Jos Buttler one final crack at the Test game would be a sensible move for English cricket.

With Adil Rashid and Alex Hales putting up a white flag to red-ball cricket for now, Buttler’s commitment to the long-form game is welcome.

Asked if he had thought about following the duo, the 27-year-old said: "Yes, sometimes – sort of. At the minute, I’m very happy with my situation.

"At the back-end of the year, I will be available for quite a lot of championship cricket. To get back in the Test side, that’s when I need runs."

Buttler has under-performed in first-class cricket. His stats are astonishingly similar for England, Somerset and his current side, Lancashire.

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Buttler has played 18 Tests for England

For Somerset he scored 2,031 runs at 31.73 (three centuries and nine half); at Lancashire so far he has made 778 runs at 31.36 (1/5); and in 18 Test matches, 784 runs have come at 31.35 (0/6).

He is a pivotal member of England’s white-ball line-ups. His incredible hand-speed and clean-hitting make him a player world sides fear.

Many would like to see him being given a Test recall by England, somebody who could play the type of innings Adam Gilchrist used to provide for Australia.

Who can forget Gilchrist’s 102 not out off 59 balls at Perth in 2006/07? Assaults like that can turn games on their heads. Buttler’s skills could become even more desirable if four-day Tests are partially introduced.

JOS BUTTLER TEST STATS
Matches: 18
Innings: 30
Runs: 784
Average: 31.36
50s: 6
100s: 0
HS: 85
Catches: 54
Stumpings: 0

Other middle-order batsmen have been tried and failed since Buttler’s last stint in the Test team, including Ben Duckett, Alex Hales, James Vince and Tom Westley.

Buttler’s Test career started well. In 2014 he made 85, 70 and 45 against India in his first three Tests at Southampton, Old Trafford and The Oval respectively.

He was wicketkeeper in his first 15 Tests, but he then played three matches as a batsman when Jonny Bairstow took the gloves. That series in India in 2016/17 saw him score 154 runs at 38.50, with innings of 43 and 76.

He has unfinished business.

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