England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is ready to bat at number three in the series decider second Test of the three-match series against Sri Lanka, starting from Wednesday (November 14) in Pallekele.
Buttler further went on to insist that England’s willingness to embrace a flexible batting order is a sign of strength rather than weakness.
Ever since the retirement of former captain and opener Andrew Strauss in 2012, England’s top order has been unsettled and even currently struggling to find the ideal combination, as the incumbent number three batsman Moeen Ali failed to impress with the bat, averaging just 14.50.
Now, England head coach Trevor Bayliss has suggested Ali could be moved down to the order for the Pallekele Test and named Buttler and Ben Stokes as potential replacements for No.3.
Buttler told the BBC, “I will bat wherever is required. You need a good balance of being settled but it shows a good team environment and ethic that people are willing to play wherever is required.”
Meanwhile, debutant Ben Foakes was given the opportunity to stand behind the stumps in the absence of regular Test wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, preferred over Buttler, and even he also did justice with his selection by hammering an eye-catching century to lead England to a 211-run win at Galle.
However, Buttler, who scored 38 and 35 in the first Test isn’t bothered by the presence of Foakes in the national squad even if Bairstow makes it for the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Buttler signed off by saying, “If Jonny was fit, I wouldn’t be the wicketkeeper anyway, so Ben Foakes keeping didn’t really bother me. In your pride as a wicketkeeper, you want to be good enough to be selected - but I didn’t keep as well in the One-Day series as I would’ve liked to and it’s quite healthy to see someone like Ben come in.”
(With BBC Inputs)