England v Sri Lanka, 4th ODI, Lord's May 31, 2014

Buttler not ready for Tests - Cook

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Highlights: Jos Buttler records the fastest ODI century by an England player in just 61 balls

Alastair Cook called Jos Buttler's record hundred "one of the best innings I've seen" as he just failed to carry England to victory at Lord's but then virtually ruled him out of having a chance of making a Test debut back at the same ground in a couple of weeks.

Buttler's 74-ball 121 transformed a floundering England chase in the fourth one-day international and they were still in with a chance of an incredible victory until he was run out in the final over.

With Matt Prior's potential Test recall still under a fitness cloud - he has been named in the Sussex squad for their Championship match against Nottinghamshire, but it will be his first four-day match since the opening week of the season - it was the sort of timing from Buttler that will increase the clamour for him to be elevated to the Test side.

Cook, however, believes Buttler still needs more time to refine his red-ball game and gave a strong indication England will look elsewhere if Prior is not considered.

"He's certainly found his method in one-day cricket," Cook said. "He knows what he's doing. I think he's yet to find that in four-day cricket.

"I think he'll be honest with himself, he needs more time to do that. But a guy who is as talented as that, there's no reason why he can't.

"I think he will become a very good Test player at some stage for England. Talented people find ways to do that, but I don't think he's quite ready yet for that role."

As a one-day player, Buttler continues to take the game by storm, making his maiden hundred having narrowly missed on the milestone when he fell for 99 against West Indies, in Antigua, during March. England needed approaching 10-an-over when he came to the crease and he kept up that required tempo with a mixture of power, placement and quick running.

"It's a hell of an innings," Cook said. "He doesn't deserve to be on the losing side, playing like that. It's one of the best innings I've seen. I don't know where he gets his power from. It is an incredible talent. Having him coming in, you're never out of the game."

Cook defended the performance of the top order after he and Ian Bell had fallen early to Lasith Malinga, leaving Joe Root and Gary Ballance to rebuild cautiously.

"When you lose wickets at the top of the order, you do have to rebuild and give yourself that chance to take the game deep," he said. "You know you can catch up. It's not the ideal way of playing it - because when you score 120 odd off 70 balls, you should win games of cricket."

Angelo Mathews was relieved to come out with a victory to keep the series alive and while he had Lasith Malinga up his sleeve retained the belief that his team would hold on at the death.

"Jos played an unbelievable innings, that's one of the best I've seen. He played the innings of his life," he said. "He nearly took us apart and the game away from us. But it was a great effort by the whole team

"The spinners bowled pretty well but you save the best for the last and Lasith had those overs in hand and it was pretty pleasing the way he bowled."

Cook also acknowledged that Sri Lanka had held their nerve skilfully in the closing overs after England had gone into the final two needing 20 to steal the win.

"You have to give Kulasekara and Malinga credit for those last two overs," he said. "They were brilliant, kept it very simple, and hit the hole nine out of 10 out of the last 12. Under that pressure - Kulasekara especially, after getting pumped three or four overs earlier - to come back like that, you have to give credit."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 3, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    You just have to look at other international teams who have backed there talent at a really young age, who have gone on to become legends of the game.

    Unfortunately the perception is such talent gets burnt out in the County circuit, he's in form now he can build on it. Give him a chance!

  • nlpdave on June 3, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Butler is neither good enough with the gloves or the bat for test match cricket. Too many missed stumpings and batting technical flaws that will easily be found out by the best bowlers. Carting the white ball around is a very different affair and cannot really be mentioned in the same breath as test match cricket.

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    You do have to question what England do actually want, was Prior the finished article before his test carrier started? I don't recall his weight of runs in the one day game.... This is an opportunity to have our very own Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist, Boucher or a McCullum? (Who incidentally was no great shakes when he started out in test cricket). England must be realistic and know what they want which i don't think they do. Cook's risk averse approach would suggest he feels that he needs Prior's experience but i just hope that in dawdling like this, Buttler does not go off the boil and become despondant, otherwise it will be a crying shame to lose one of our most impressive recent talents. FYI I am not comparing these greats to Buttler just yet, but they all started somewhere.

  • darrenh on June 2, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    Scoring ODI runs does not mean a player is capable of keeping wicket in a test match (if this was the case Morgan or even Bopara would be in with a shout). Butler's keeping is improving but still a little short of the standard England require. I think at the start of the season Butler would have been told he was first choice ODI keeper but would need to improve to challenge for a test spot. I also believe those players England are looking at for the w/k position would have been told they are in the frame and to get their game in order by June. One more season of county cricket (with help and advice from Bruce French?) I believe will help the young man enormously. Finally, I think Prior deserves a chance to prove he can still compete at the top level.

  • player27 on June 2, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Yes, poor from Cook. England don't know how to create stars. The least they can do is provide the opportunities to someone who has potential. Holding him back is only going to kill his confidence now.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 2, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    I think this home Sri Lanka series would be perfect time to give Butler a shot and was very surprised by Cooks brutal comment.

  • liz1558 on June 2, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    This is poor from Cook, and once again highlights his lack of leadership skills. He has made himself a hostage to the fortunes of Prior's fitness. This is something that Vaughan or Strauss would never have done. It shows that he doesn't trust new players to perform and demonstrates his over-reliance on the old guard when this is clearly a time for change and taking risks. Everyone wants a fully fit and firing Prior, but there is no guarantee of that; Cook needed to say that this sort of innings puts Buttler in the running. Hard to see what Buttler lacks after playing the best innings by any England batsman in ODIs.

    Not a fan of Cook as captain at all. The cricket is tedious, and he reveals all his fears in press conferences. The lack-of-credible-alternatives argument is wearing thin. The spectre of Kim Hughes hangs over Cook's captaincy - nice bloke; out of his depth; all ending in tears.

  • on June 2, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    Sri Lankan batsmen, some of them, backaway from the stumps when playing fast bowling. Ugly sight. Not gainful either. Coach may have observed this already!

  • on June 2, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    He has good technique and he's aggressive. I think that's what England lacks now. Somebody to put pressure on opposition team like KP did in previous Ashes. I wonder this comment from Cook has to do something with KP's tweet as he suggested Jos to play test cricket.

  • on June 2, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    what had Cook done for England? Major achievement was to get beaten by Aussies. he was inspirational in dropping KP and now Same will apply to Buttler.

  • on June 3, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    You just have to look at other international teams who have backed there talent at a really young age, who have gone on to become legends of the game.

    Unfortunately the perception is such talent gets burnt out in the County circuit, he's in form now he can build on it. Give him a chance!

  • nlpdave on June 3, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Butler is neither good enough with the gloves or the bat for test match cricket. Too many missed stumpings and batting technical flaws that will easily be found out by the best bowlers. Carting the white ball around is a very different affair and cannot really be mentioned in the same breath as test match cricket.

  • on June 2, 2014, 15:50 GMT

    You do have to question what England do actually want, was Prior the finished article before his test carrier started? I don't recall his weight of runs in the one day game.... This is an opportunity to have our very own Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist, Boucher or a McCullum? (Who incidentally was no great shakes when he started out in test cricket). England must be realistic and know what they want which i don't think they do. Cook's risk averse approach would suggest he feels that he needs Prior's experience but i just hope that in dawdling like this, Buttler does not go off the boil and become despondant, otherwise it will be a crying shame to lose one of our most impressive recent talents. FYI I am not comparing these greats to Buttler just yet, but they all started somewhere.

  • darrenh on June 2, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    Scoring ODI runs does not mean a player is capable of keeping wicket in a test match (if this was the case Morgan or even Bopara would be in with a shout). Butler's keeping is improving but still a little short of the standard England require. I think at the start of the season Butler would have been told he was first choice ODI keeper but would need to improve to challenge for a test spot. I also believe those players England are looking at for the w/k position would have been told they are in the frame and to get their game in order by June. One more season of county cricket (with help and advice from Bruce French?) I believe will help the young man enormously. Finally, I think Prior deserves a chance to prove he can still compete at the top level.

  • player27 on June 2, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Yes, poor from Cook. England don't know how to create stars. The least they can do is provide the opportunities to someone who has potential. Holding him back is only going to kill his confidence now.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 2, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    I think this home Sri Lanka series would be perfect time to give Butler a shot and was very surprised by Cooks brutal comment.

  • liz1558 on June 2, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    This is poor from Cook, and once again highlights his lack of leadership skills. He has made himself a hostage to the fortunes of Prior's fitness. This is something that Vaughan or Strauss would never have done. It shows that he doesn't trust new players to perform and demonstrates his over-reliance on the old guard when this is clearly a time for change and taking risks. Everyone wants a fully fit and firing Prior, but there is no guarantee of that; Cook needed to say that this sort of innings puts Buttler in the running. Hard to see what Buttler lacks after playing the best innings by any England batsman in ODIs.

    Not a fan of Cook as captain at all. The cricket is tedious, and he reveals all his fears in press conferences. The lack-of-credible-alternatives argument is wearing thin. The spectre of Kim Hughes hangs over Cook's captaincy - nice bloke; out of his depth; all ending in tears.

  • on June 2, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    Sri Lankan batsmen, some of them, backaway from the stumps when playing fast bowling. Ugly sight. Not gainful either. Coach may have observed this already!

  • on June 2, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    He has good technique and he's aggressive. I think that's what England lacks now. Somebody to put pressure on opposition team like KP did in previous Ashes. I wonder this comment from Cook has to do something with KP's tweet as he suggested Jos to play test cricket.

  • on June 2, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    what had Cook done for England? Major achievement was to get beaten by Aussies. he was inspirational in dropping KP and now Same will apply to Buttler.

  • dorothydix on June 1, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    Cook is absolutely right! Buttler has far too much flair and panache to play for England!!! Lets just calm him down a bit then he might be ready. In the meantime let`s be very careful.

  • geoffboyc on June 1, 2014, 20:46 GMT

    In one sense I agree with Cook; I just hope he said as much to Buttler before airing his opinion to the media.On the other hand, unless England go for a specialist keeper, who else is much better than JB. Red ball cricket does place different demands on players for obvious reasons, but I've seen Buttler play two Championship innings this season for Lancs where he had to dig in when the batting was in trouble, and he passed 50 both times. That doesn't make him a Test player but shows that he can play according to the situation in that form too.

  • markatnotts on June 1, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    There have been many comments on here moaning about what Cook said who no doubt would have complained he was over hyping Buttler if it had been claimed he is ready for test cricket. The English captain and in deed many England players can't win whatever they say on many issues.

  • on June 1, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    Dude - he is more ready for test that you are for captaincy

  • CricketChat on June 1, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    I don't agree with assessment that Buttler is not ready for tests. Professional sport is not only about skill, but the confidence that goes with it. His morale and confidence must be sky high after an innings like this. I would rather watch a quick fire 40/50 in 30 mins than a boring 60/70 in 3 sessions in a test. If he can actually hit a 100, that could dramatically change Eng fortunes. Fans will remember that whenever Shewag got a big knock in quick time it helped his team. I think he is as ready as he ever will be.

  • Taimor-016 on June 1, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Majority of comments of here have been really sensible and I agree with them.

    Don't understand why Cook has made this 'weird' statement. I have liked Buttlers batting since his debut. He is an exceptional talent for England. He is a very good ODI and T20 batsmen (hands down). However, I'm not sure how good he could be in Tests. But this statement from Cook is senseless and has bee made out of nowhere; especially when considering that he scored an amazing ton (which is also the fastest by an English batsmen).

    However, good luck Buttler and keep doing well as I'm really fan of your batting.

  • grant1976 on June 1, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    Very poor from Cook. He has created a problem, if the selectors now select Buttler, he is going to know his captain does not think he is up to the job. Clearly Cook wants Prior, but Mr Cook you are not a selector and building pressure on them by making these sorts of ill timed comments is poor form. He has been complicit in denying us KP now he seems to want to deny us Jos Buttler. Cricket is still entertainment and the paying spectators and MCC members (including myself) deserve better.

  • jmcilhinney on June 1, 2014, 15:23 GMT

    It's funny, there was hype around Buttler when he came into the limited-overs sides and lots of people were saying that he was rubbish. Now he's starting to find his feet in limited-overs cricket and we have lots of people saying that he should be playing Test cricket. More often than not, domestic first-class form will give a better indication of likely Test ability and Buttler is yet to fully prove himself at FC level.

  • jmcilhinney on June 1, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    @BDKu on (June 1, 2014, 13:47 GMT), you are ignoring some very important points: there are no fielding restrictions in Test cricket and there are almost always slips in place. That makes scoring easier in limited-overs cricket. To score runs in Test cricket you have to be able to concentrate for long periods and that is what many talented players who succeed in limited-overs cricket lack.

  • on June 1, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    very conservative approach from Cook.. Cricket has changed alot... but not in England.

  • on June 1, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    If he felt compelled to make a statement, Captain Cook could have used a more diplomatic choice of words. What we witnessed from Josh Butler was something quite special; an innings of immense maturity and authority, which some of the senior players were unable to do. Recognize it, accept it and let the selectors do their job.

  • SLSup on June 1, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    I am amused by a veteran of 100 or more Tests (Cook) with a Test and First Class career average hovering at 47 should think Buttler is not ready for Tests when Buttler just played the finest ODI 100 + innings in cricket that I have seen. And he wasn't smacking almost every ball that pitches on leg, middle, and off to the leg side (example: Kohli) either. Buttler played intelligent cricket without allowing the situation to overwhelm him (or ENG) - not Cook's strong-suit - which England can do with in Tests against SL.

    SL gains, ENG lose. This is not a prediction about the Test series but a FACT about Buttler's exclusion.

  • on June 1, 2014, 15:05 GMT

    BDku : a century in a test match is always consider a better achievement than a century in ODI.

  • SagirParkar on June 1, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    so can Mr Cook suggest a suitable keeper batsman for tests, given that Prior is going through a very lean patch at the moment ? surely Buttler is better than Bairstow, who doesnt seem to have a clue about what consistency is, irrespective of which format he is playing.

  • andrew27994 on June 1, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    All those criticising Cook's statements should realise that the English media over-hype their players a lot. This would put undue pressure on Buttler to perform in Tests. Cook is absolutely right to not get over-excited with his performance. Unless Buttler performs more consistently in FC matches, he should never be considered for Tests. For now, he's an ODI specialist and his keeping is still a work-in-progress.

  • BDKu on June 1, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    Nicholas Ryan - Has given some interesting stats to make a point and I agree. I am not a English fan but a SL fan What I believe is 1. It is difficult to play a one day hundred than a test hundred. When playing a test match you have time on your hand. In a one day you cant be leaving balls you have to score and you are prone to hit a wayward ball and get out which you could have left alone in a test. 2. You need to get your opportunity when you are playing well and your confidence is high. I think not giving Butler the chance is a waste of that opportunity

  • KeithL on June 1, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Butler is already an accomplished ODI and 20/20 Cricketer, that does not mean he is an accomplished Test Cricketer... he does need to ensure he scores the quantity of runs in 4-day cricket to be considered as an outright batsman and/or bring the consistency of his glove work to a point that England have to look past Prior and the likes of Read and Foster and give it to the young Butler.

    Each and everyone of us who might comment on cricket would dearly love to wear the test cap of our nation, England's test team each and every match should represent the best cricketers on merit... judged on their abilities with bat/ball and in the field... my team for the first test. 1. Cook 2. Carberry 3. Ballance 4. Bell 5. Root 6. Stokes 7. Moeen Ali 8. Read/Foster 9. Broad 10. Jordan 11. Anderson - Ali picked because England can't rely on Panesar with bat or in field, he will get an opportunity to bowl a bit with Root if necessary. Carberry deserves a go in home conditions.

  • TeamSelector on June 1, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    A good ODI player does not necessarily make a good Test player, but the reverse is true. So maybe Cook (being the captain & all), might know something that we don't. He also figured that there may be a public outcry based on this one audacious innings to push Butler into the Test team & he just wanted to caution everyone that might not be the case. Who are the other contenders for the keeping slot besides Prior & Butler?

  • KashifTasneem on June 1, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Buttler's confident would have shattered. Any captain should not say anything like this to a young emerging player.

  • grant1976 on June 1, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Buttler is not ready for test cricket. Firstly when did Cook become a selector? secondly if he is now selected Buttler will know his skipper does not want him. Thirdly Cook has helped deprive us off Pietersen and he seems to now be advocating the non selection of Buttler. Does he just want boring test cricketers in his team? My advice Cook... concentrate on your own game, do us all a favour and let the selectors pick a side without your pressure. no one is bigger than the team!!

  • on June 1, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    My best playing 11 for England in test, 1.Alister cook (c) 2.Nick Compton 3. Alex hales 4. Eoin Morgan 5.Ian bell 6. R Bopara 7.S Broad / Jordan 8. M Prior (wk) 9. J Anderson 10. S Finn 11. M Panasar

  • on June 1, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    'Buttler not ready for Tests'.

    1. Partiv Patel kept for India in Tests in England when he was 17. 2. 110 players younger than Buttler have scored a Test hundred. 3. How will we know he's ready (or not) if we don't play him? 4. Most of the current England squad are 'not ready for Test cricket'!

  • on June 1, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    Test squad is crucial for English team.. Get in with Alex hales ,prior, broad,panesar,and Finn..!!

  • AviatorPenguin on June 1, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    What a bizarre reaction by the fans to Cook's comments. On the one hand, everyone decries England's "boring, cliche-ridden, management statements" at press conferences, but when someone does give an honest opinion, he's blamed as negative and wrong.

    Cook is pretty much right. He said Buttler won't make a good Test player now, but he might in the future. What's wrong in that? Why on earth will it demotivate Buttler? Buttler isnt a six-year old girl, you know, to burst into tears at Cook's comments. He probably knows it himself that he isnt ready for Tests yet.

    This seems more a case of Cook being damned, no matter what he does or says. No wonder the ECB is so insular and stand-offish with fans.

  • m0se on June 1, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    It's obvious Cook is giving Prior a favor here.

  • on June 1, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    Oh come on he's a grown man, if he lets these comments hold him back then he isn't ready. It should just urge him on to even better performances.

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 1, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Eng top order are always giving the lower/middle order way too much to do, assuming they last 10 overs… Cook's decline in odis seems terminal, bell is also a dot ball king, and morgan has not played an innings of note for over a year… It took a record innings to even get eng close… ballance/root are always getting out when set and bopara is not the finisher we are told he is, and never will be, look at the stats… again far too many dot balls, and his bits and pcs bowling was taken apart and so there is zero point in continuing with him, as he has not achieved anything ever in all his many batting positions for 100+ odis… Buttler/Jordan/Gurney are showing that it is time to cut the oldies and get new blood in, the old blood has clotted… plus time to move saker on which wd allow middx to let Finn return

  • PACERONE on June 1, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Cook had better start making runs in the formats he plays in.His chatter about players should include himself.His captaincy is not good enough to guarantee him a place in any team.

  • InternationalCricketFollower on June 1, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    Why is England so defensive! If the Lankans had Buttler he would open the batting in all formats without being a keeper (because sanga will keep)!

  • on June 1, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    If Buttler can score a 100 in 61 balls in an ODI, what can stop him from scoring it in a Test match with all the fielders in the circle? If Hales can score 90s in less than 20 overs, why can't he do so in 50 overs, where the circle lasts for 10 overs, not 6. The team selection and decision making is so stupid..its actually quite funny!

  • JG2704 on June 1, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    Personally I think Cook is right. But I also agree with the comms that it could send a demotivating message to the player himself. And also is there a significantly better option - barring Foster as a keeper - for England to turn to? Personally I like the idea that a player isn't picked for one forformat based on their form in another but then why is it that all the noises indicate that Morgan who has a similar 1st class record is to be picked again and why was Morgan picked for the test team on the back of such a 1st class record when they are writing off Jos who at least has always showed willingness to play for his county side in order to better himself? Also it seems it's ok for England to pick unsuitable test type players (Stokes/Ballnce etc) for shorter formats but not the other way around? Also wonder if Cook is being honest about suitable players for suitable formats whether he should still be playing for - let alone captaining - the one day side?

  • MDCP on June 1, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    I believe this is the issue with England. They tag players as specialist for a particular format and do not go by form, hence they struggle big time in most formats. Another example is Alex Hales. Tagged a t20 player with no real reason. If Eng batting line up for ODIs was - 1. Cook 2. Hales 3.Bell 4. Ballance/Root 5. Morgan 6.Bopara 7. Butler It looks a more aggressive and a more formidable line up rather than 4 accumulators at the top I believe he is in better form than Cook himself and definitely deserves a place in the test XI

  • nlight on June 1, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    The series against SL would be the very best time for Buttler to join the test team. It's a bit of a gamble, but so is every new selection. Buttler has proved himself in the international arena as a batsman and his keeping is improving.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 1, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    If 100% fit and in any sort of acceptable form, Matt Prior is still my first choice wicket-keeper batsman for tests. Whilst I agree this is not good timing and rather confidence-shattering for Cook to come out and say this about Buttler, one fantastic knock in an ODI in which Buttler himself admitted "had nothing to lose" does not suddenly constitute fast-tracking into the test side.

    The word 'never' is not used in this article/interview, except when Cook says "Having him [Buttler] coming in, you're 'never' out of the game." So I wish posters would stop implying that Cook/England 'never' want guys like Buttler playing tests. Cook just doesn't think he [Buttler] is ready YET, but in all likelihood will be at some point. I just wish Cook had waited a few days and refused to comment if asked, and allow the guys (Buttler in particular) to enjoy the moment/feeling for longer. England and the players need confidence and excitement to stay afloat, not deflation/hopelessness.

  • Narkovian on June 1, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    Buttler not reay for Tests ? Give me a break.. who in ENG team is ( apart from about 3of them !)? In 2004/5 a certain KP was excluded from Tests in SA. Unsurprsiingly, as he was pretty much untried. Then he got into the ODI's and smashed SA all over the park whilst the rest of the team were pretty much useless and lost. I seem to remember ECB suits, etc saying just the same about him then. Not ready for Ashes Tests etc etc... Public and media pressure and in the end some unfamiliar common sense prevailed, and the rest is history.

  • Narkovian on June 1, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    COOK... what ?! You seem to be saying his batting is not up to scratch with the "red" ball ( is there a difference ?) Actually its his keeping that may not be good enough for Tests. But nor was Prior's when he started. If Prior is not fit. Buttler has to play. Buttler's batting is absolutely fine for going in 7 or 8. Just needs to cut out that dodgy scoop shot in Tests. Far better than most if not all other candidiates. Come on... just do it!!

  • Sir_Francis on June 1, 2014, 10:48 GMT

    Does Cook's contract allow him to make comments on the make up of the Test team? He's not a selector as far as I'm aware. I'm assuming he is echoing the thoughts of the selectors, otherwise he was out of line. And although he may be correct, those sort of comments should be in house. Bad manners and deflating for the young fellow.

  • on June 1, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    I agree. Shame on Cook for dismissing Buttler's credentials to play Test so quickly. What a way to deflate positive momentum. One of the things that impressed me most about Buttler yesterday was how quick he was between stumps running 3s when others would have run2s. I watched Prior walk onto the pitch as a pundit. I love seeing Prior play and on his day he is one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world ...but he looked stiff to me.

  • steve48 on June 1, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    Cook's alternative interview; "Jos is amazing young talent, just the sort of impact player we need in all formats. We are lucky to have the worlds best keeper /batsman in Matty, and a player like Jos developing to challenge him, along withe several other excellent prospects. Please don't forget the excellent supporting hand played by Ravi, it was great to hear the crowd get behind them, and how much they responded to it." Everyone happy with that, instead of the negative spin of Captain Cook?

  • IamCricketLover on June 1, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Shame on Cook to say such a statement. If at all Jos Butler need to learn more on Test Cricket, the n let him play Test Cricket and Improve the Fine Skills. U can't learn to swim unless you are in water. May b Cook feeling insecure of his own position in Jos Emerges in Test Areana like One Day n T20.

  • D.I.Kotok on June 1, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    Captain Cook said: "I think he (Butler) will become a very good Test player at some stage for England. Talented people find ways to do that, but I don't think he's quite ready yet for that role."

    Butler scored 121 and nearly got England home after a shoddy performance from the Test players in the ODI. Cook scored 1. In his other role Butler is a wicket-keeper. England have limited wicket keeper choices for the next test.

    Presumably Butler needs to stop getting runs, prod at 100 balls to score 10, then throw his wicket away before he will be considered a 'test player'. To start that process the England Captain makes discouraging comments to ensure Butler's morale is as low as the rest.

    The ECB is destroying my morale too, moving forward.....

  • on June 1, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    Hes right. I dont think anyone in England is tbh. They need some more foreigners. He gets 120 from 70 and 'england' still fall short because theyre not batting quickly enough? So much for their exciting new brand of cricket. What makes it worse was Bopara's adequate 51 off 47. So together the two of them put 'england' at 172 runs off 121 deliveries. The rest of the batting fails to get the remaining 129 runs required from 179 deliveries. Simply appalling. Bell and Cook failing which is the best of their ability while the new hopes Root and Ballance carelessly fight for survival at the cost of the necessary aggression needed to win the game. Hard to display confidence i guess when its been made so clear to all by NZ, Australia and South Africa that theyre simply not good enough.

  • Patchmaster on June 1, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Ironic.....considering that Cook isn't ready for ODI's yet (if we are picking people on form and record over the last year.....) I'd rather see guys like Butler, than guys like Bopara, Cook and Bell in the side.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on June 1, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Really? Buttler is one of the few people who actually wants to play tests and has sacrificed money making opportunities across the globe to focus on his red ball game. He has improved a lot and his talent is evident. And instead of grooming him and giving him experience, Cook wants to make him wait? And for who? Prior? Prior's career is pretty much over. He is old and doesn't have many years left in him. I thought England were going for the overhaul with new young players, but I guess I was wrong. Buttler can inject the same audacity into the line up that Pietersen did and we all know where that got England. Plus, an explosive player like him coming down the order is always a big threat in tests just like Gilchrist was. Cook is not capable of captaining any side. All he does is take orders and he falls apart under pressure. The ECB should really look into giving Morgan those responsibilities. He is a much more capably leader than Cook anyday.

  • on June 1, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Have to agree with everyone that Cook's comments are not what you want to hear, I thought at the beginning of Australian Summer that Buttler should be in the test side, and as a future all formats player for England, but it seems the test selection is very scrutinizing about a young players temperament and technique. But in test cricket, what you're really looking for in a young player is talent and the ability to play many or all shots, to challenge bowlers and to get runs, and they are continually a work in progress until they retire. Maybe they prefer Bairstow - but I wouldn't.

  • sambudgie on June 1, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    What a poor comment from Cook. This is where England fail all the time. You have people like Downton making politically unacceptable remakes about KP. Now you have the England captain joining the fools making demoralising comments about one of the best talents we have seen for a long time. Who in the present England set up doesn't have to fine tune their game. They are just bits and pieces. There are no match winning players except for Joss. We are good destroying emerging talents aren'g we?

  • on June 1, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Buttler is 23, averages 33 in FC cricket and 50 in List A and has just destroyed a class international bowling side. He keeps, or fields like a freak, he has a strike rate of 59 in FC but well over 100 in all other forms. I've no doubt he has a lot to learn but seriously his numbers are awesome. Add to that at 22 he moved the length of the country to get the gloves in FC cricket when he could have been forgiven for becoming a young globetrotting millionaire. When there are so many questions about commitment from young players for the long version where does Cook get off. I love an old school opener and my stats brain would love to see cook carve out 20000 Test runs, but gotta say I'd prefer he shut up while he was about it.

  • ruester on June 1, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    I am so glad I wasn't the only person to think Cook was totally wrong with his comments. I am so demoralized by the ECB and Cooks thinking, I would be satisfied if I thought England had a captain which will lead us forward and we lost. At the moment we have a captain who has limited vision and a management team who thinks the same. I hope. Sri Lanka win the series if only to hurry the end of cooks reign.

  • jmcilhinney on June 1, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    Well, that was exciting! Not the result an England fan wanted but I stayed up until 4AM here in Australia to watch it. It's encouraging to see England get so close but it really was only Buttler's brilliance that got them there. The top order was still a bit of a let-down with Cook and Bell going early and Root and Ballance just leaving too much for the rest to do. That Buttler managed to get them so close should show the rest of the world why there was so much hype around him when he came into the England team. Also, when you consider that England lost by 7 and bowled 16 wides to SL's 3, they hurt themselves with the ball too. Congratulations to SL, who batted well and held their nerve with some good death bowling. It was always going to be hard to keep taking 10 runs off Malinga's overs. Fantastic innings by KS too and credit to SL for continuing to score at a good rate after he fell.

  • Lakpj on June 1, 2014, 1:17 GMT

    Really bad comments from Cook. England will go no where with their traditional way of thinking. explosive batsman coming at No 7 in a test innings is the last thing bowlers would like. He may have some faults in his batting but those can be corrected. Look what Gilchrist did for Aus when he played. When the top order fires he will come and bury the opposition and if the top order fails he can counter attack and take them to something respectable.

  • looloogun on June 1, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    butler is a quality player . eng should bring in another wicket keeper to keep wickets and allow butler to focus more on his batting ,he could develop into a maxwell ,symonds type player if he bats at top like 3, 4 or 5 .kieswetter is also a decent option who can bat and keep and butler is excellent like devilliers in the field .

  • Roleplay on June 1, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    In NEW ERA OF ENGLAND cook is the visionary(God save them).I thought England will be back on the track with some aggressive cricket but the way he quickly made a public statement on butler that too on the day when he saved a humiliation for his team.Demoralizing their players is the English way .He could have kept quiet about the test potential in butler.Why Doesn't anyone talk about cook being one of the major obstacles for English odi progress since he is one of the most clueless captains plus a way ordinary odi batsman.In this age where Amla has maintained class by playing superb test cricket and made prolific odi runs cook doesn't have an excuse why he has a mediocre odi record compared to him.Cricket doesn't have any major teams going around and for world cricket England should be playing top cricket to make a contest.They should think there is a world beyond ashes too.Isn't Australia the other team in ashes who have brought crowds in every possible Format.

  • Greatest_Game on June 1, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    The Cook has clearly lost his recipes, but has a very hearty appetite for duck - or as close as he can get to it! When there is such a crisis in the kitchen, there is always one man who takes charge and puts the house in order - the Butler, of course.

    Methinks the Cook is the one not ready for tests, of any type, be they a test match, the test of captaincy, the test of batting, the test of opening the batting, etc. The Butler, however, seems to be passing his tests, some with flying colors.

    It does not always take too many Cooks: in this case, just one is spoiling the broth.

  • Grero on June 1, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    What a promising youngster !!! Wish him all the best keep to this form up and become a regular member in all English squads.

    See the genuine opinion of Cook on Sri Lankan death bowling !!! Dhoni might have something to learn; to give credit to opponent when it's due ( T20 WC final - same two bowlers)

  • ruester on May 31, 2014, 23:59 GMT

    What a demoralizing comment to make about Butler, from Cook. the man has just played an exceptional innings but to be told he is not ready to play in the test team. Wonderful example of man management again from Cook. I know Butler is not a wonderful keeper but at least he is keeping wicket. Prior has not kept all summer and let's not forget he was dropped from the England side for not scoring any runs for a very long time. A fit, in form Prior would always be in my side but if not then why not give Butler a chance he has the potential to be something very special. Boy do we need someone special!

  • on May 31, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    Alastair Cook not ready for modern One-day Cricket. He plays like a 80's opener in 2014. Strike rate too low to hurt the team.

  • deedeeess on May 31, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    As captain, Cook is of course obliged to comment. The irony however, surely cannot be lost. Whilst the side selected is a competent one in the early English summer, it lacks the aggression required under better batting conditions. Cook himself, as a conservative opener and woefully limited captain, has no business keeping the likes of Hales out of the side when anything approaching 300 and over is required. For a man who is so ill suited to the modern one day game to assess the test credentials of one of the few selected English players capable of producing what's required in the modern one day game seems laughable; Buttler arguing against Cook's place in the one day side is an infinitely stronger case.

  • on May 31, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Cook needs to work on his own one-day game, let alone how is he even in the one day team. The only thing saving him is he is the captain

  • StraightBatToAStraightBall on May 31, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    What an astonishingly demotivating response from the captain. I keep wondering who is teaching these guys about motivating the players England need to perform in order to rebuild. Cook may be right, but why blab it to the public and press right after the guy has hit an astonishingly good ton? Almost autistic in its lack of human understanding. Same as the extraordinarily ham-fisted public talking down of Steven Finn in the winter. Hey Cookie, how about a score from you in this bright new era? Or has your era passed?

  • on May 31, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Jos Buttler, Virat Kohli, and James Faulkner have one thing in common. The fastest century for their country in their respective nations during the current generation. Upcoming future starts, best of luck to the three!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on May 31, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Jos Buttler, Virat Kohli, and James Faulkner have one thing in common. The fastest century for their country in their respective nations during the current generation. Upcoming future starts, best of luck to the three!

  • StraightBatToAStraightBall on May 31, 2014, 20:33 GMT

    What an astonishingly demotivating response from the captain. I keep wondering who is teaching these guys about motivating the players England need to perform in order to rebuild. Cook may be right, but why blab it to the public and press right after the guy has hit an astonishingly good ton? Almost autistic in its lack of human understanding. Same as the extraordinarily ham-fisted public talking down of Steven Finn in the winter. Hey Cookie, how about a score from you in this bright new era? Or has your era passed?

  • on May 31, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Cook needs to work on his own one-day game, let alone how is he even in the one day team. The only thing saving him is he is the captain

  • deedeeess on May 31, 2014, 22:11 GMT

    As captain, Cook is of course obliged to comment. The irony however, surely cannot be lost. Whilst the side selected is a competent one in the early English summer, it lacks the aggression required under better batting conditions. Cook himself, as a conservative opener and woefully limited captain, has no business keeping the likes of Hales out of the side when anything approaching 300 and over is required. For a man who is so ill suited to the modern one day game to assess the test credentials of one of the few selected English players capable of producing what's required in the modern one day game seems laughable; Buttler arguing against Cook's place in the one day side is an infinitely stronger case.

  • on May 31, 2014, 23:46 GMT

    Alastair Cook not ready for modern One-day Cricket. He plays like a 80's opener in 2014. Strike rate too low to hurt the team.

  • ruester on May 31, 2014, 23:59 GMT

    What a demoralizing comment to make about Butler, from Cook. the man has just played an exceptional innings but to be told he is not ready to play in the test team. Wonderful example of man management again from Cook. I know Butler is not a wonderful keeper but at least he is keeping wicket. Prior has not kept all summer and let's not forget he was dropped from the England side for not scoring any runs for a very long time. A fit, in form Prior would always be in my side but if not then why not give Butler a chance he has the potential to be something very special. Boy do we need someone special!

  • Grero on June 1, 2014, 0:19 GMT

    What a promising youngster !!! Wish him all the best keep to this form up and become a regular member in all English squads.

    See the genuine opinion of Cook on Sri Lankan death bowling !!! Dhoni might have something to learn; to give credit to opponent when it's due ( T20 WC final - same two bowlers)

  • Greatest_Game on June 1, 2014, 1:10 GMT

    The Cook has clearly lost his recipes, but has a very hearty appetite for duck - or as close as he can get to it! When there is such a crisis in the kitchen, there is always one man who takes charge and puts the house in order - the Butler, of course.

    Methinks the Cook is the one not ready for tests, of any type, be they a test match, the test of captaincy, the test of batting, the test of opening the batting, etc. The Butler, however, seems to be passing his tests, some with flying colors.

    It does not always take too many Cooks: in this case, just one is spoiling the broth.

  • Roleplay on June 1, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    In NEW ERA OF ENGLAND cook is the visionary(God save them).I thought England will be back on the track with some aggressive cricket but the way he quickly made a public statement on butler that too on the day when he saved a humiliation for his team.Demoralizing their players is the English way .He could have kept quiet about the test potential in butler.Why Doesn't anyone talk about cook being one of the major obstacles for English odi progress since he is one of the most clueless captains plus a way ordinary odi batsman.In this age where Amla has maintained class by playing superb test cricket and made prolific odi runs cook doesn't have an excuse why he has a mediocre odi record compared to him.Cricket doesn't have any major teams going around and for world cricket England should be playing top cricket to make a contest.They should think there is a world beyond ashes too.Isn't Australia the other team in ashes who have brought crowds in every possible Format.

  • looloogun on June 1, 2014, 1:14 GMT

    butler is a quality player . eng should bring in another wicket keeper to keep wickets and allow butler to focus more on his batting ,he could develop into a maxwell ,symonds type player if he bats at top like 3, 4 or 5 .kieswetter is also a decent option who can bat and keep and butler is excellent like devilliers in the field .