Thursday, May 19

Jos Buttler frustrated at missing England exams, but “doesn’t have perfect answers” | England cricket team

Jos Buttler has said there are no perfect answers to the over-scheduling that has led him to miss five of England’s eight test matches this year to rest and with Twenty20 cricket seemingly prioritized.

A centrally recruited player for England in all three formats, Buttler’s itinerary so far in 2021 sums up much of the broader frustration with the team’s rotation policy, having left the test series in India for a scheduled break with the team 1-0 up and following back-to-back victories in Sri Lanka. Joe Root’s team has lost four of its five Tests since then (the 3-1 loss to India was followed by a 1-0 series loss at home to New Zealand), while Buttler has appeared in all eight. White ball team matches and played in the Indian Premier League before its cancellation in early May.

“I don’t think there is any perfect answer,” said Buttler, who, having departed for Lancashire in the T20 Blast, will return to action on Wednesday when Eoin Morgan’s Twenty20 team begins a three-game series against Sri Lanka in Cardiff. . “Of course it is always frustrating to miss matches. You wish you were available for everything. But in the current climate with all the complications from Covid, etc., I think we have to take care of our people. “

When asked if there were too many games being scheduled (England play 16 events this year, along with 28 white ball games and a T20 World Cup), Buttler replied: “That is probably a very good question for all administrators, is it? not? We play a lot and we understand that it is a short race and you want to be available and play as much as you can. But at certain times I don’t think it’s possible, and I think Covid has made it even more difficult. “

Buttler insists he wants to be the best player he can be in all formats, but despite batting 50 in test cricket since the beginning of last summer, he acknowledges that his white ball game is superior today. . Something that makes its deployment this year even more curious. Few question the need for rest periods, given the current logistical difficulties and the stresses of living in biosecure bubbles, especially when these take place given the relative strengths of the two sides of England.

Looking ahead, he describes playing all five Tests against India this summer and the entire Ashes tour in the winter as “the dream,” even if the match roster remains “overwhelming” and it is not known whether families will be able to travel with players. to Australia. , given current border restrictions.

“That would certainly be a great challenge,” he said. “Especially when you are used to being able to bring your family. I’m sure the boys will find it difficult. Hopefully, a positive solution can be found. “

When asked if national duty will come first when this year’s IPL is completed in September and October in the United Arab Emirates, a direct clash with the Bangladesh and Pakistan tours, Buttler said he will be wherever Ashley Giles, England’s male cricket manager, say he be. Right now, Buttler claims to be refreshed by his spare time and, as vice captain and opening hitter on the Twenty20 side, he is eager to max out the series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan to build a confidence similar to that developed before the victorious 50. about the World Cup in 2019.

The next block of white ball internationals also features six one-day internationals and potential crowds of up to 50% capacity as part of the government’s pilot plan for sports facilities. The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that the top three ODIs against Sri Lanka in Durham (June 29), the Oval (July 1) and Bristol (July 4) are included in that program, with games against Pakistan in Lord’s (July 10). ) and Edgbaston (July 13) yet to be confirmed. The ODI in Cardiff (8 July) is subject to separate discussions with the Welsh government.

Elsewhere, the World Test Championship final lost its second full day yesterday, reducing hope for a result between New Zealand and India. Only 141.1 overs have been thrown in the four nominal days of the match so far in Southampton, although a reserve day is scheduled for tomorrow. New Zealand will resume 101 for two in response to India’s 217.

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