After a shoddy batting performance by the visitors in the second test, they have now decided to drop their middle-order batsman Ben Duckett and replace him with experienced Jos Buttler who had been excluded from the squad a year ago. This time round, the wicket-keeper will return to the England team as a specialist batsman because Johnny Bairstow is already keeping the wickets.
Coach Trevor Bayliss has shown faith in Ben Duckett’s batting but is not sure if he is not built for the kill on the turning tracks. Duckett scored mere 18 runs in the three innings he played and was seen struggling against Ravinchandran Ashwin’s bowling.
It is not true that the replacement has a very impressive record in the recent past, having managed only one 30-plus score in the last 12 innings, and the first class average of 32.07 being quite moderate. But Trevor Bayliss feels that if he plays the game he does in ODI format, it will help him while playing the red ball.
The England boss said, “The one thing with Jos is that if he plays the same way as he does in one-day cricket, I think that’s the way ahead for him; red ball or white ball. I think he’s starting to get his head around that fact.”
Buttler does not have much match practice behind him having played only one warm-up match in Bangladesh where he managed only 4 runs and was dropped subsequently. But as per the words of the head coach of England, he is pleased about how the batsman is playing in the nets and is certain the right-hander will put in his best.
India and England will play their third Test in Mohali, scheduled to begin on Saturday. With the visitors looking determined to turn the tables around, India’s batting department will have to deliver their best.
Photo by Mike Prince