Former India batsman VVS Laxman believes Jos Buttler lacks the “belief” and “clarity” to perform in Test cricket. He said the England white-ball vice-captain is so eager to stand up to the expectations of his team and board that it’s clouding his judgment of innings building in the longest format.
VVS Laxman’s comments came in light of Jos Buttler’s 42-ball 23 in England’s first innings of the Lord’s Test. The wicketkeeper-batsman was once again a bit too audacious in his approach, hitting the new ball on the up against India’s pace quadret. He plundered four boundaries, none of them well-timed, before losing his wicket to a delightful in-swinger from Ishant Sharma.
In an interaction with ESPNcricinfo, VVS Laxman said:
“For me, he’s one of the most dangerous white-ball batsmen going around, there’s no doubt about it… But at the moment, I have a feeling that there are two things happening with Jos Buttler. For one, he’s still not got the belief on how to score runs in Test match cricket. While he wants to establish and prove himself at the highest level, and he knows there’s a lot of faith reposed on him by the team management and the selectors, sometimes, in that eagerness, you don’t know what kind of game to play. At the moment, he’s not sure how to approach a Test match innings.”
This was Jos Buttler’s third straight failure in the series. He was dismissed in similar fashion in the first Test at Trent Bridge as well – for a duck in the first innings and then a 22-ball 17 in the second essay.
Jos Buttler should learn from Joe Root how to play in England: VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman further observed that Jos Buttler is chasing deliveries instead of playing late and close to his body. He said the 30-year-old should take cues from his captain Joe Root on how to play in English conditions.
“The second thing is, he can learn from his captain who is batting alongside him. The captain shows that for him to be successful, or for any batsman to be successful in English conditions, it’s very important to allow the ball to come close and play it as late as possible. That’s the mistake that Jos has made, in both Test matches he has been reaching out towards the ball and there’s a big, big gap between bat and pad which is something you can’t afford to do in England,” Laxman added.
Like Jos Buttler, most of the hosts’ batsmen failed to make it big on Saturday. But, skipper Joe Root (180* off 321) singlehandedly led his team to a 27-run lead over India’s total of 364.