Buttler reflects on difficulty of translating white-ball success to Test cricket

Jos Buttler has opened up on the challenges of replicating his limited-overs form in Test cricket.

He has been regarded as England ’s “best white ball batsman of all time”, with his swashbuckling performances at the top of the order, but the same cannot be said in the red-ball arena.

While Buttler averages 38 in T20I at a strike rate of 141, he averages just 33 in Test matches.

While speaking to The Times, the 31-year-old explained the difficulties adjusting to the longest format of the game.

“I’ve had that asked of me a lot — why don’t you play the same way?” he said.

“And I’ll be honest I don’t think it’s possible. The value of your wicket is different, isn’t it? The ball moves, there’s slips in place, it’s generally a lot harder.”

He added: “Certainly, at times I could be more aggressive, play a few more shots, but clearing the front leg and just slogging is probably not quite the one for Test cricket.

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“Anyone who has been successful in my eyes in Test cricket has a good defence and can leave the ball well. You need that part of your game.

“The main thing is the mindset, that fearlessness and demeanour at the crease, if I could take that into my red-ball batting that would be a real positive.”

Following the ongoing T20 World Cup, Buttler will face the ultimate challenge in Test match cricket for an England player, contesting an Ashes series in Australia.

After expressing some initial doubt regarding his participation in the upcoming series, Buttler has been included in the squad going Down Under as the team bid to regain the prestigious urn.

There were concerns over whether the tour would go ahead at all because of Australia's strict coronavirus rules and Buttler publicly stated that he would "not be comfortable" going on the tour if his family could not accompany him.

However, after months of negotiations between the ECB and Cricket Australia , it was decided that the tour would go ahead and that families would be able to join the players over Christmas.

"For myself, if I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes – four, five months without seeing my family – I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that," Buttler admitted last month.

"Every English player wants to be a part of an Ashes tour – it’s on the bucket list.

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"It's the one tour I've never been on so that ambition to get selected for that tour and to experience what it's like was burning brightly.

"For any English player, that's the one tour that you want to be a part of and experience. My issue about going to the Ashes was never about cricket – it was simply that I have a young family.”

Before attention turns to Test cricket however, Buttler and his England teammates are aiming to win the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

The batsman is in scintillating form as he struck his first T20I hundred against Sri Lanka on Monday and became the first Englishman to score a century in all three formats of the game.

England, who play South Africa in their final Super 12 game on Saturday, are currently undefeated in the tournament and have all-but qualified for the semi-finals.

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