Jos Buttler told Sky Sports he will play 'his brand of cricket' as he returns to England's Test team at No 7
Jos Buttler told Sky Sports that he will play “his brand of cricket” after being recalled to the England Test side for the series against Pakistan.
Buttler will play his 19th Test match at Lord’s from Thursday – 17 months after his last appearance, in India in December 2016 – with the 27-year-old to slot into the England line-up at No 7.
England vs Pakistan
May 24, 2018, 10:00am
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass
The Lancashire player has been in red-hot form for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals this season, hitting 548 runs in 13 innings, including a record-equalling five consecutive fifties.
Speaking to Ian Ward – in an interview you can watch in the video above or in the build-up to coverage of day one of the first Test from 10am on Sky Sports Cricket on Thursday – Buttler insisted he would bat “naturally” and “paint his own canvas”.
“I am buzzing – there were times I thought I’ve never play another Test, let alone one at Lord’s,” said Buttler, who averages 31.36 in Test cricket, with six fifties in 30 innings. “Wanting to go out there and have the best time this week is my overriding emotion.”
“Chatting to [national selector] Ed Smith and Rooty (Joe Root), they want me to play in the fashion that comes naturally to me – counter-attacking, being true to that and playing my brand of cricket. That originality and being genuine is going to give me the best chance of success.
Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton discuss Buttler's recall to the England Test team
“Maybe there have been times where I’ve battled with the two games [red and white-ball cricket] but now, where I’m batting, it’s the same game.
“Watching the best players around the world, the basics of what they do against the red ball and white ball transcends both games – Trevor Bayliss has always said that. Whatever colour the ball is, I’ve just got to go and play.
“I thought I did that for the first half of my Test matches, when there was novelty and everything was just incredible. Then I started to think a little bit too much about the wrong thoughts. I felt like I learnt a lot from that phase.
“I’m now looking at it a bit differently – painting your own canvas. In one-day games it’s often laid out for you how you are going to play, whereas now it’s more exciting. It’s up to you how you go about it.”
Buttler believes his stints in T20 tournaments around the globe, including a spell with Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder this winter, have been instrumental growing his skills and altering his mind-set.
“Playing in a lot of competitions has helped – when you turn up you have to know yourself and what works for you,” he said.
“A lot of it comes down to acceptance – that TV and media are going to talk about me being back, and that the the guy in row Z will have an opinion.
“Rather than worry about it, I just accept it. That’s how it is, that’s what it is. People have opinions and that’s what makes life interesting.
“Maybe [sometimes] you try to please people but now I know what I want and if I’m talking to someone I know what I want to get out of it – what parts I’m listening to and sometimes listening but not listening!”
Reflecting on whether Test cricket remains the pinnacle of the sport, Buttler added: “People still really value Test cricket, especially the players.
“I found it interesting that when Kevin Pietersen officially retired, he didn’t talk about his one-day knocks. It was all Test matches – hundreds at the Oval and in Mumbai, incredible Test knocks.
“You know Test cricket is still a true test and I think the wider public still feel that as well.”
Watch the first Test between England and Pakistan at Lord’s from 10am, Thursday on Sky Sports Cricket.