MUMBAI: England are set to recall Jos Buttler as a specialist batsman in their team for the third Test against India in Mohali with Ben Duckett facing the axe after his struggles against off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the first two matches.
The left-handed Duckett scored 56 in the second innings against Bangladesh in Dhaka but has accumulated just 54 runs in six innings since.
Ashwin, the world’s top-ranked bowler, dismissed him three times in Rajkot and Visakhapatnam and the 22-year-old appears to have technical flaws in his defence against spinners.
“I think he’s got a special talent,” said England coach Trevor Bayliss after the side lost by 246 runs on Monday to go 1-0 down in the series. “Whether he plays the next match or not, I think he’ll play a lot more for England.”
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England have two batting options in their squad Gary Ballance and Buttler — to replace Duckett.
But Ballance was also dropped after aggregating 24 in four innings during the 1-1 drawn series in Bangladesh.
Buttler, who boasts the three fastest ODI hundreds for England, has a modest record in Tests.
The wicketkeeper-batsman averages 30 in 15 matches, the last of which was 13 months ago against Pakistan in Dubai.
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“The one thing with Jos is that if he plays the same way as he does in one-day cricket, I think that’s the way ahead for him; red ball or white ball,” said Bayliss. “He’s in the top echelon of destructive batters when it comes to white-ball cricket, and there’s no reason — if he can get his head around playing against a red ball that he can’t do the same and put the pressure back on the opposition.”
The 26-year-old right-hander has not had much opportunity to practise for the longer format with the lack of warm-up fixtures in India. “He’s certainly hitting the ball very well in the nets,” said Bayliss. “Yes, we would have liked him to have a hit-out at some stage, but it is what it is these days. We’ve no time to fit one in. If he does come in I think he’ll give it his best shot.”
Courtesy : Express Tribune