Updated: Saturday, 17th March 2018 @ 7:44pm

Comment: Lancashire’s Jos Buttler deserves to be England’s test match keeper after one-day heroics

Comment: Lancashire’s Jos Buttler deserves to be England’s test match keeper after one-day heroics

| By Scott Hunt

Being out for 99 will always result in a feeling of disappointment for a batsman.

No doubt Jos Buttler felt the same when he fell agonisingly one run short of his first one-day international century in Antigua last week.

Yet that performance carried so many positives for the Lancashire man as it again underlined his quality and potential as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

He backed it up again on Tuesday, top scoring with 67 as England lost their second T20 international against West Indies in succession.

So far in his international career, Buttler, 23, has been restricted to one-day cricket but his performances have now surely forced him to the front of the queue to be England’s Test match keeper.

England had a disastrous winter tour of Australia and one of the many issues they encountered on that trip were the struggles of their wicketkeepers.

Matt Prior has been almost an automatic pick in recent years, but due to his problems last summer and in Australia, he was replaced by Jonny Bairstow for the last two tests in the winter.

Bairstow failed to grab his chance once again and looks out of his depth at Test match level.

Prior has been a wonderful servant to English cricket and his average of 40.13 in Test matches is a testament to his ability as a batsman.

However over the last year he seems to have lost his spark, resulting in a dip in strike rate and ultimately his removal from the team. While he may return to form and reclaim his place, for now England should look elsewhere.

There are other contenders for the role of course.

Craig Kieswetter has had his spells in and out of the England one-day side with varying success.

He also kept Buttler out of Somerset’s four-day team – prompting Buttler’s move to Lancashire.

Kieswetter had some success in four-day cricket for Somerset last season and will be a name in contention should England look for a change.

Young Essex keeper Ben Foakes was the keeper taken on the England Lions tour of Australia but, at 21, is not in serious contention for the Test team.  

Buttler is the standout name and his performances in one-day and twenty-twenty cricket have given the selectors food for thought.

His style of batting is not traditionally suited to the Test match arena but he is exactly the type of fresh blood England need to re-energise the team.

England need to become more dynamic, especially now that Kevin Pietersen has been removed from selection, and Buttler can help them achieve this.

He has become famed for his finishing ability in limited overs cricket, with West Indian legend Sir Viv Richards labelling Buttler as ‘a class act’ last week.

His strike rate is what sets him apart in the one-day game and while it may not be the main requirement in the longer form, it is something England could certainly utilise. Without Pietersen, England have a line-up that looks one dimensional and conservative.

Buttler is a swashbuckling batsman, known for his innovative shot making and taking the game to the bowlers.

His attacking nature is exactly what the England team need to provide some much-required impetus to their Test match innings.

As a wicketkeeper, Buttler has improved massively since his international debut in 2011 and there would be no concerns about him keeping wicket in Test cricket.

At Lancashire, Buttler will have a platform to play four-day cricket if England choose to overlook him for the first Test of the summer in June.

Before that, in the one-day series against Sri Lanka, Buttler will have more chances to press home his claims for a Test spot.

It is a spot he deserves a chance to take.

Buttler possesses the ability to add an extra dimension to the Test team, at a time when England are requiring a lift in the midst of their lingering problems from the Ashes.

He has earned the right to be given the gloves for the first test in June and the chance to prove his worth at international cricket’s top table.

Image courtesy of Official England Cricket via YouTube, with thanks.