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England torched for Jos Buttler selection as wicketkeeper


Cricket legend Ian Chappell has torched England’s selectors, slamming their choices for the first and second Ashes Tests.

Weighing in on England’s XI in Brisbane and Adelaide, Chappell criticised wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s inconsistent performance and questioned his selection for the Boxing Day Test.

Speaking on Wide World of Sports’ Outside The Rope, Chappell said squad member Jonny Bairstow and Lions team member Ben Foakes were both better options than Buttler.

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“Their selections are bad, their selectors should cop just as much of a boot up the backside as Joe Root,” he said.

“You cannot pick Jos Buttler as a wicketkeeper. He’s not even the best keeper in the group, never mind the extended group where (Ben) Foakes should have been the wicketkeeper because he can bat as well, but he’s far and away the best wicketkeeper.

Jonny Bairstow is a better keeper than Jos Buttler. If you’re only going to pick one from the squad, it’s got to be Jonny Bairstow. I’d be picking Foakes.

After settling in for the long haul during England’s second innings of the second Ashes Test, Buttler scored 26 runs from 207 balls. However, after dropping Marnus Labuschagne twice in Australia’s first innings and later Steve Smith with a dolly catch, Chappell was not impressed.

“They’ll be fooled again by what Jos Buttler did in the second innings,” he said.

“He hung around, but what did he do when it mattered? He did nothing. He got out. He should have got a pair. That’s the thing you’ve got to look at. What do guys do when it really matters?

“That’s how you should be picking a cricket team, and on that basis, you can’t have Jos Buttler.

Chappell then pursued the selection reasoning behind opening batter Rory Burns.

Rory Burns, I can’t have him as an opener.

“I think Ollie Pope can play a bit, Zak Crawley can play, I think [Dan] Lawrence has got a bit of ticker. But England doesn’t work that way, it’s all concentrating on technique.

“Just go out and hit the ball.”

Former Australian Test cricket captain Mark Taylor concurred with Chappell that the tourists need to rethink their lineup if they have any hope of swinging the series score to 2-1.

“I agree. I’d be thinking younger, more than older, and I’d be saying, ‘who’s going to give us some life?’ There’s been lethargy in the team, right from the top down,” he said.

Addressing Buttler’s difficult second Test match behind the sticks, Taylor implied England’s heads weren’t often in the game.

“They’re so lethargic, the over rates are slow, that suggests to me that there’s not an urgency out there,” he said.

“When you play at a certain pace, everyone’s in the game. When you play slowly, everyone gets slow. Then an opportunity comes along, as it did with Marnus Labuschagne, first night, second new ball, he nicks one straight to Jos Buttler, who drops it.

“They’re all half asleep, it’s almost like we’ve been out here five and half hours of really slow cricket, and they’ve fallen asleep.

“The next morning you can just about bet Jos Buttler will stand on his ear and catch Marcus Harris down the legside because he’s awake.

“You’ve got to keep that energy up for the game. You do that with younger blokes who want to play and want the opportunity.

“I would be looking to youth.”

Taylor also reflected on England’s opening batting partnership and shared the judgement that Burns should be omitted.

“I do like [Haseeb] Hameed, even though he hasn’t made any runs, he’s one guy in the field who’s done alright.

“He would be in my side, I wouldn’t have Rory Burns. I think you’ve got to make a change there.

“I’d be starting to think about not just the next three Test matches, but where’s England cricket going to be in six months?”

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