Jos Buttler claims Headingley performance proves he belongs in Test cricket
He was man of the match in England’s innings win over Pakistan.
Jos Buttler has proved to himself he belongs in Test cricket and thanks England for the faith they showed by recalling him to face Pakistan.
Buttler, who spent almost 18 months out of the team between his 18th and 19th caps, was man of the match for his unbeaten 80 as England won by an innings inside three days at Headingley to draw the NatWest Series 1-1.
The 27-year-old, England’s white-ball wicketkeeper with 170 caps to his name in the shorter formats, is a world-renowned talent in 50 and 20-over cricket.
But after averaging little more than 30 in Tests up to December 2016, he acknowledges he was a “wildcard” inclusion by new national selector Ed Smith to bat at number seven.
Asked if he has proved to himself he can do that job, Buttler said: “I think so.
“Over the last couple of years I’ve had some great experiences all round the world in different competitions, and that’s really helped.”
Buttler’s Test return followed a brilliant streak of form opening the batting for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League – in which he hit five consecutive half-centuries, culminating in two unbeaten 90s.
He said: “Coming into this series with someone putting so much faith in me as a real wildcard pick gave me a hell of a lot of confidence … for someone to say ‘I’m backing you, you’re good enough’.
“I arrived confident, having had a great few weeks in India, so I felt in a really good place and wanted to continue that and wanted to play the situations in front of me.”