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England v West Indies

England to back Jos Buttler as Ben Foakes’ wait continues

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

England coach Chris Silverwood has suggested that under pressure wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler would retain his spot in the England Test XI as the management look to provide him with “the best opportunity to succeed.”

Buttler hasn’t been in the best form in Test cricket, with only one half-century in his last 21 innings. He started brightly in the first innings of the Southampton Test against West Indies, but fell to Jason Holder after a 47-ball-35.

He struggled in the second innings however, inside-edging Alzarri Joseph on to his leg-stump after managing to add just 9 runs to England’s total.

With Ben Foakes waiting in the wings, Buttler’s spot in the side is under immense scrutiny, but Silverwood believes he just needs a big knock or two to regain his confidence. “I’m not going to go down that road yet of putting Jos under pressure, because I don’t think it’s going to help him,” he said. “First and foremost, we want to give Jos the best opportunity to succeed.

“But I’m sure he is asking the same questions. He looked brilliant coming into this game, in practice and everything, and he looked very good in the first innings. He just needs to go and make those big scores now, doesn’t he? He knows that as well. From our point of view, it’s just making sure that he feels confident in the environment he’s in.”

Foakes, 27, is only five matches into his Test career but already has a century, a fifty and a healthy average of 41.50 to show for. “We have got a very, very good gloveman in Ben Foakes out there, which we’re lucky to have,” Silverwood said, but it seems the Surrey wicketkeeper might have to wait a little longer for his sixth Test appearance.

The second Test of the three-match series starts on Thursday, July 16 at Old Trafford.

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