NEW DELHI: Holding wicket on the low and turning tracks of India is a stumper litmus test and Jos Buttler of England is eager to ace it in his only appearance next week in the four-Test series between the sides.
Traditionally, the Indian pitches provide little bounce, forcing wicket-keepers to stand near, which takes fast reflex to catch some edge.
Over the five days, there are some huge obstacles to holding the wicket, the way the pitch can change and deteriorate,” Buttler told a video conference on Saturday.” For seam bowlers, there is less to bring than we are used to in England or Australia and South Africa.
So you stand very close, and a lot of the odds are very fast, reactive odds. And then the difficulty of standing up to the spinners, clearly, as the ball begins to turn…
In Sri Lanka, Buttler kept wicket but will return home as part of England’s strategy to rest their multi-format players after the opening test in Chennai.
Ben Foakes would presumably remove the gloves from him, but before going off, Buttler needs to prove his wicket-keeping credentials.
“The 30-year-old said, “I definitely enjoyed being in Sri Lanka and the ball turning past the bat is thrilling. “I believe wicket-keeping is a lot of fun in spinning conditions.”
Speedster Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes were rested by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the Sri Lanka series, while opener Rory Burns was given paternity leave.
The trio have rejoined the squad in India, but as part of the ECB’s rotation strategy, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood will only be available for the last two tests.
Joe Root and his men will be delighted with the absence of Ravindra Jadeja in India’s Test team, having recently demonstrated their weakness in Sri Lanka against left-arm spin, former England batsman Mark Butcher said.
In Sri Lanka, England won both tests, but failed to interpret left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, who took 10 wickets at Galle in the second contest.
After fractured his thumb in Australia, all-rounder Jadeja will miss the first two tests and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav is not a guarantee in India’s slow bowling attack led by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“Our batters had problems facing Embuldeniya,” Butcher told Saturday’s Times of India, who played 71 Tests between 1997 and 2004. “England will be strengthened by the absence of Jadeja. India has a world-class bowling attack, so it brings a new level to Jadeja.’