LONDON: England batsman Jos Buttler says he considered quitting white-ball cricket to regain his place in the Test team. Buttler, 27, has been recalled for this week’s first Test with Pakistan despite only playing four first-class matches since his last Test in 2016. He is regarded as one of the world’s best white-ball players and has instead played in various Twenty20 tournaments.
However, he said he “definitely” considered focusing solely on red-ball cricket for “a couple of years”. “Having not being selected in the Ashes squad, I had thought maybe the best way of being the best red-ball player I can be was to stop playing white-ball cricket for a couple of years and give red-ball cricket a real stab,” Buttler told BBC Radio 5 live’s Tuffers and Vaughan cricket show.
England’s Adil Rashid and Alex Hales, who were both also dropped from the Test team, decided to just play limited-overs formats when signing white ball-only contracts with their counties.
Buttler said he also considered the move but “didn’t want to put all his eggs in one basket”. His Test recall comes after an impressive stint in the Indian Premier League, scoring 548 runs in 13 innings – including five consecutive half-centuries. “You wonder whether when playing a lot of white-ball and franchise tournaments, do you have enough time to work on your game seriously and show you are trying to improve and get back in [the Test team]?” Buttler said. “Then you come back to it and think there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to play all forms.
“What is really my strength I would have been going away from. It probably wouldn’t have been a very smart decision.”
Buttler, a key member of England’s limited-overs team, played the last of his 18 Tests in December 2016 against India and said his recall “feels like another debut”.
He has kept wicket before in England’s Test team but this time has been picked as a specialist batsman.
“It’s a fantastic surprise and an incredible opportunity,” he said.
“Any time you turn up here at Lord’s it’s special, and all of those emotions are arriving today.”
The Lancashire batsman was dropped after averaging 31.36 in his first spell in Test cricket and said a recall “wasn’t particularly on my radar”.
However, he said he spoke with former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne about how he could “potentially get back” into Test cricket.
“You always think maybe that race is run and will never happen again,” he said. Agencies