England news September 18, 2011

England middle-order battle heats up


Jos Buttler couldn't help Somerset end their run of second-place finishes in county cricket, but gave another demonstration of his talent against Surrey at Lord's. The day after Jonny Bairstow burst onto the international stage with a matchwinning innings against India, Buttler gave his own eye-catching demonstration with 86 off 72 balls in the CB40 final.

There is an increasing battle for places in the England limited-overs teams after Bairstow and Ravi Bopara took the opportunities presented by the absences of Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan. Those two senior players will also miss the Twenty20s against West Indies this week - while Morgan is ruled out of the India tour next month - which means an opportunity to impress before the squads for India are announced.

Bairstow's unbeaten 41 off 21 balls at Cardiff has assured him of a trip to the subcontinent, but Buttler, who was called into the one-day squad as cover for the final match, is perhaps battling Ben Stokes, the Durham allrounder, for a place in the touring party. Stokes played the first four matches against India, although he only batted twice and struggled against spin.

He is also still unable to bowl due to the broken finger he suffered earlier in the season, so Buttler's performance at Lord's came at a good moment and his county captain, Marcus Trescothick, believes he showed his rapid development.

"He can play some great innings just like that," Trescothick said. "It was quite reserved for Jos. We've all seen it when he bangs it left, right and centre out of the ground. It was very mature. It was the perfect knock for the situation of the game.

"It was great to watch. We've seen enough great times of Jos over the last couple of years to justify him being in the international team," he added. "If he can continue to play like that and get the opportunity to play in international games, England supporters are going to see some good performances because he is a serious player."

Buttler's place in the Twenty20 squad to face West Indies means he didn't travel with Somerset to the Champions League on Sunday although could link up with the squad if they progress through the qualifying stage in Hyderabad. The odds are stacked against them, however, as they have two games in two days with the first less than 24 hours after arriving in India. Yet if he doesn't reach India with his county, Buttler is making a strong case to go there with his country.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arvindh on September 20, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    @Valavan you have no proof that BCCI asked NZC to prepare slow pitches. But Bairstow played in a condition where ball is wet , it offered no swing or spin. I won't be surprised to see your extemporaneousness again. PLS publish my comment cricinfo

  • Martin on September 20, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    @Valavan - sorry mate but you are wasting your time with him. The reason he's on an England page is simply to stir it up.

  • Valavan on September 20, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    @puntertakeson, why couldnt they enjoy green track at nottingham. i remember even sreesanth did it alone in Johannesburg. What is this melodrama about Zaheer, Is he better than Akram, or is he on the league of ambrose. How many matches at all India won in green tinge? after drubbing in NZ in 2002, BCCI requested NZC to produce slow wickets if they want to play 3 test series. This shows how India want to play in green wickets. You can rate INDIA so so high but they are not in the league of Windies or Aussies. I know and we also accept its long way to achieve such success, but we enjoy the moment, you can give more more even 100000000 excuses, but INDIA, the no.1, the current ODI world cup champion were streamrolled by England in England. Honestly SL and PAK gave a quite fight which India didnt give. OH YE ZAHEER and his 10 MUSKEETERS. Go on...

  • Arvindh on September 20, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    @Valavan hahahah. Indian fast bowlers enjoyed green track look at SA recent series, where Indian fast bowlers dominated SA batsman or India bowlers swing better than any other bowlers in this world. Having your ID as Valavan that dosen't make you Valavan. How about this SA collapsed in 4 day in SA against India. We miss zaheer in this series, Zaheer is not just a bowler for India he's almost act as a bowling coach the way he give suggestion to Ishant and sreeshant, with him Indian bowling unit is completely different. Look at Finn he is bowling at 152 but he is not swinging enough There is one Tamil Proverb I need to mention here "Too much of anything is good for Nothing".Cricinfo publish this

  • Valavan on September 19, 2011, 20:06 GMT

    @puntertakeson, i have seen the pitch in Ahmedabad, that usually a slow pitch, once allowed green tinge with uneven bounce, and SA wrapped up india under 4 days, so the next pitch, Kanpur, that used to be flat pitch shaved to be a turner. So its not difficult to prepare a pitch with fast or slow, leaving the grass on covered pitches assist fast bowling, shaving the grass with lead to slow low turners. Its all about how teams cope with it. Fair opinion, Aussies make the best pitches, Brisbane n Perth - fast tracks, adelaide and Melboure - flat tracks, Hobart and Sydney - slow tracks, rest of countries anyway prepare pitch to favor homeside. but whatever the condition given, a quality team should have enough resources to perform in any pitch that is put forward to them.

  • Arvindh on September 19, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    @Honeymaster, In India you can't play after 3rd day ball will start to spin and Old ball will reverse swing. There are possibility of uneven bounce in 4th day. There are grounds were Indians can enjoy cow Pasteur greens pitch. Not all indian grounds are flat pitch. Did anyone told you Indian is called Sub-continent (We have all sort of climatic condition). Come to India during summer you will crawl. You have no idea about Indian Domestic structure. Cricinfo pls publish

  • Arvindh on September 19, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    IMHO they still need to prove

  • Samuel on September 19, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    @ NRI - Shane Warne made an excellent point on Sky at some point over this summer when he said that it's a fallacy that you supposedly "need" two spinners in India, his logic being that the pitches might turn, but Indian batsmen are brought up playing spin and therefore that won't phase them in the slightest. If you have two quality spinners, like Warne and MacGill, then play them. If you don't, play your best attack. I would argue that England's best attack wouldn't include two spinners. These bowlers have done fine on flat wickets in Bangladesh (always a dodgy side to judge performance against, but those pitches were horribly flat, and Swann, Bresnan and Finn bowled brilliantly on them) and Australia, I wouldn't be rushing to needlessly alter the balance of a winning side.

  • Samuel on September 19, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    @ Ahsan - I feel they're holding Taylor back for test cricket. He had an iffy day on T20 finals day and I feel, and the England management probably feel, that England need destructive players in the one day arena, as opposed to Taylor's more touch based game. I reckon we'll be seeing him soon enough in a white shirt though. And Aayush - Bairstow and Stokes both average well over 40 in the county first class game. You have to remember that England isn't India; it's impossible for batsmen to average the better part of 70 over a long period, like Rahane and Pujara do, here. Early season pitches, better bowling attacks and the weather all contribute to make it tougher for batting. An average in the mid 40s is pretty damn good for a young player.

  • Randolph on September 19, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    I am backing the 20yo kiwi to make the United XI. Get another Southern Hemispherian into the team!

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