By Amlan Chakraborty
NEW DELHI, Jan. 30 (Reuters) – Keeping the wicket on India’s low and twisting tracks is a litmus test and England’s Jos Buttler is keen to pass it in his only appearance in the four-test series between the teams next month.
Indian pitches traditionally offer little bounce, forcing wicket keepers to come close, requiring a quick reflex to grab any edge.
“There are some big challenges in keeping the wicket, the way the pitch is going to change and deteriorate over the five days,” Buttler said on a video conference Saturday.
“There is less portage for sewing bowlers than we are used to in England or Australia and South Africa.
“So you stand pretty close and most of the chances are very quick and responsive.”
“And then, of course, the challenge of standing up to the spinners when the ball starts to spin …”
Buttler kept the wicket in Sri Lanka but will return home after the opening test in Chennai as part of England’s policy of putting their multi-format players to rest.
Ben Foakes is likely to take back the gloves, but Buttler wants to prove his doorman credentials before he returns home.
“I really enjoyed being in Sri Lanka and the ball going past the stick is exciting,” said the 30-year-old.
“I think the wicket under rotating conditions is a lot of fun.”
The England and Wales Cricket Commission (ECB) rested speedster Jofra Archer and versatile Ben Stokes for the Sri Lanka series, while opener Rory Burns was granted paternity leave.
The trio have joined the team in India but Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood will only be available for the last two tests as part of the ECB’s rotation policy.
“I think the ECB has been very forward thinking,” Buttler said, praising the board for recognizing the challenges of living in bio-bubbles after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, that means some players rest at times and miss out on games you never want because you want to play every time and want your strongest team to be every time …”, said added Buttler.