Chris Silverwood Confirms Jos Buttler to Start as Keeper in Sri Lanka

Yesterday we saw the power of Jos Buttler in T20 cricket and why he's arguably the most important squad member for England going forward.

On the back of that win at Centurion yesterday, England Head Coach Chris Silverwood spoke to the BBC's TMS podcast, where he was directly asked if Jos Buttler would keep the gloves for the first test in Sri Lanka in March. Here is what he had to say:

I think he does. I think you have to back your players and give them a chance to succeed. That's the environment we want to create. Where they can express themselves and don't feel as though they're playing for their life all the time.

In principle, I agree that you shouldn't be chopping and changing a team at every moment of failure. There is something to be said for consistency and for enabling players time to develop their skills and prove themselves at test level.

Saying that it's easy to argue that Jos Buttler has already been given that opportunity to cement his place in the test team. Let's not forget that Buttler has played 73 test innings for England.

In 2019 alone he had 20 innings in England whites and managed just 502 runs at an average of 25.10. So far in 2020, he's had 5 innings and managed 81 runs for an average of 16.20. So it's not as though he's in for one game, out for the next.

When Ben Foakes was selected in the England squad, there was a hope that England would play their best keeper in trying conditions. Foakes performance in 2018 was exceptional with both bat and ball. It's easy to think about his skills with the gloves, but we can't forget that gritty century in Galle.

Personally I think it's a mistake to go with Jos, and commit to him this early. For me, in places like Sri Lanka, you play your best wicket-keeper full stop. Then when you consider Foakes plays spin well and carries an exceptional average for England, it's hard to argue that he doesn't deserve to play.


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