Buttler keeps to his word

Jos Buttler hits a six at The Ageas Bowl
Jos Buttler hits a six at The Ageas Bowl
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

Root: Hampshire talent will embrace Ashes debut

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Jos Buttler was as good as his word.

The wicketkeeper-batsman told the assembled press ranks he would take his trademark aggression, honed in the limited overs game, into the Test arena on the eve of his debut.

His 85 from just 83 balls included nine fours and three sixes and strengthened his case that he is a more than capable replacement for Matt Prior.

His keeping has yet to be examined in quite the same way and it’s probably premature to make a judgement on his batting, based on just one innings.

But it was full of promise, even if he had luck on his side and the perfect circumstances to play his natural game.

It could all have been over in the blink of an eye but he avoided the ignominy of a duck on Test debut.

An outside edge to the slips appeared to have been taken just centimetres above the turf by Ajinkya Rahane before Buttler had scored his first Test run.

The debutant had started walking to the pavilion only for the umpire to refer the decision upstairs.

TV replays are notoriously inconclusive in dealing with catches of that nature and unsurprisingly, the benefit of the doubt went with the batsman.

Buttler certainly made the most of his reprieve.

Batting alongside the imperious Ian Bell, ensured his senior partner took the reponsibility.

But the state of the game also played into Buttler’s hands to perfection.

England wanted quick runs to move toward their eventual declaration and he was given license to attack.

He needed no second invitation and unleashed the full artillery on the tiring Indian bowlers, who had run out of ideas.

He found the boundary with unerring ease and regularity.

And he was closing in on his century before he was bowled.

The Lancashire man will face more searching match situations.

Next time England are 120 for five and he has to prevent an innings collapse, he will require a different style of batting and application.

But it wasn’t bad for starters.