Buttler ready for demanding SL challenge

2021-01-11 at 13:03

Jos Buttler is ready for the “demanding” challenge of Sri Lankan conditions and the “healthy” competition for his place as England’s first-choice Test wicketkeeper.

England captain Joe Root said recently Buttler remained his No 1 gloveman, despite Ben Foakes impressing as batsman and wicketkeeper when the side won 3-0 in Sri Lanka in late 2018, including hitting a century on his Test debut in Galle.

Buttler struck a career-best 152 in his previous Test innings, against Pakistan at The Ageas Bowl in August, but knows his keeping must come to the fore in the two-Test series in Sri Lanka as he stands up to the stumps for the spinners during sapping sessions.

Ahead of Thursday’s first Test in Galle Buttler said: “It’s obviously going to be very different from the summer. As an all-rounder you want everything firing and I know it’s going to be a great challenge for me with the bat and the gloves.

“It’s really important both of your games are on and you hope they feed off each other. To contribute to the team and winning games you really need both suits playing well.

“It’s demanding but it is also an exciting place to keep wicket. You are up to the stumps, the ball is turning, you know you are really in the game.

“It’s obviously demanding physically out here and that is part of the challenge – to have satisfaction at the end of the day that you have worked so hard and you’re tired, but that you have done your job for the team.”