Eng­land set to pick But­tler in place of Duck­ett in Mo­hali

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land are set to re­call Jos But­tler as a spe­cial­ist bats­man in their team for the third Test against In­dia in Mo­hali with Ben Duck­ett fac­ing the axe af­ter his strug­gles against off-spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win in the first two matches.

The left-handed Duck­ett scored 56 in the sec­ond in­nings against Bangladesh in Dhaka but has ac­cu­mu­lated just 54 runs in six in­nings since.

Ash­win, the world’s top-ranked bowler, dis­missed him three times in Ra­jkot and Visakha­p­at­nam and the 22-year-old ap­pears to have tech­ni­cal flaws in his de­fence against spin­ners. “I think he’s got a spe­cial tal­ent,” Eng­land coach Trevor Bayliss said af­ter the side lost by 246 runs on Mon­day to go 1-0 down in the se­ries.

“Whether he plays the next match or not, I think he’ll play a lot more for Eng­land.

“Ev­ery level you get to, you go up. It gets harder and harder, and the step is big­ger. Ben’s work­ing harder than any­one in the nets to try to fix things up, get­ting him­self into a po­si­tion that he is con­fi­dent enough to score runs.” Eng­land have two bat­ting op­tions in their squad - Gary Bal­lance and But­tler - to re­place Duck­ett. But Bal­lance was also dropped af­ter ag­gre­gat­ing 24 in four in­nings dur­ing the 1-1 drawn se­ries in Bangladesh.

But­tler, who boats the three fastest ODI hun­dreds for Eng­land, has a modest record in tests. The wick­et­keeper-bats­man av­er­ages 30 in 15 matches, the last of which was 13 months ago against Pak­istan in Dubai.

“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,” Bayliss said. “He’s in the top ech­e­lon of de­struc­tive bat­ters when it comes to white-ball cricket, and there’s no rea­son - if he can get his head around play­ing against a red ball - that he can’t do the same and put the pres­sure back on the op­po­si­tion.” The 26-year-old right-han­der has not had much op­por­tu­nity to prac­tise for the longer for­mat with the lack of warm-up fix­tures in In­dia.

“He’s cer­tainly hit­ting the ball very well in the nets,” Bayliss said. “Yes, we would have liked him to have a hit-out at some stage, but it is what it is these days. “We’ve no time to fit one in. If he does come in I think he’ll give it his best shot.”

Fast bowler Stu­art Broad, who has in­jured his right foot, could make way for the re­turn of Chris Woakes in Mo­hali. Eng­land must also de­cide if they want to per­sist with left-arm spin­ner Za­far An­sari, who has taken five wick­ets in three tests, or re­place him ei­ther with off-spin­ner Gareth Batty or seamer Steven Finn.

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