Fum­bling But­tler finds he has nowhere to hide

Pres­sure is on the Eng­land wick­et­keeper to de­liver runs to­day af­ter mis­takes that could cost Test and his place in side

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Scyld Berry CHIEF CRICKET WRITER

Spend­ing the night in your team ho­tel when it is part of the ground where you are play­ing, where you can look out of your bed­room and see the place where you have made crit­i­cal mis­takes which are prob­a­bly go­ing to cost your team the match: cricket was al­ways the cru­ellest as well as most beau­ti­ful of games but this Covid-dic­tated re­fine­ment, of mak­ing you spend 24 hours a day at the scene of your mis­for­tune, is a twist wor­thy of the Mar­quis de Sade.

Let Eng­land sup­port­ers hope Jos But­tler does not have rest­less nights af­ter his three wick­et­keep­ing er­rors: two of them when Shan Ma­sood had scored 45, and a third – the sim­plest – when Yasir Shah had scored five. But­tler has scored one cen­tury in his 45 Tests. It will take an­other to erase the ef­fect of his mis­takes and give Eng­land the size­able first-in­nings lead they will need to counter the dis­ad­van­tage of bat­ting last on a pitch which will mis­be­have as it is al­ready so dry.

Over­all, it was Eng­land’s worst day of this ab­bre­vi­ated sum­mer, be­cause Pak­istan do not play cricket in the uni­form and pre­dictable style that West Indies do, but on But­tler the spot­light will fall be­cause the two mis­takes which re­prieved Ma­sood were game-chang­ing. Ma­sood had been a walk­ing wicket in Eng­land, but has since taken seva eral leaves from the note­book of Pak­istan’s bat­ting coach You­nis Khan, the mas­ter at block­ing a bowl­ing at­tack into sub­mis­sion then blast­ing it in the sec­ond half of his in­nings.

Eng­land’s finest wick­et­keep­ers have had a cer­tain rub­ber­i­ness, and flop­pi­ness. They have been like pup­pets in that they have been able to flop and leap, jump and dive, twist and turn, as if jerked on a string. Alan Knott, Jack Rus­sell and Ben Foakes have had this phys­i­ol­ogy, and it has set them apart when stand­ing up to the stumps against spin on a turn­ing or bounc­ing pitch, which is the lit­mus test of wick­et­keep­ers.

But­tler has al­ready had a bad Test when keep­ing to the off-spin of Dom Bess and Joe Root, in Port El­iz­a­beth last win­ter, and changed his tech­nique so

An­other keeper calamity... But­tler fin­gers: Ben Stokes shows his dis­may (left) af­ter Eng­land keeper Jos But­tler fol­lowed his er­rors on the first day by drop­ping Yasir Shah off the bowl­ing of a frus­trated Dom Bess (right) that he touched the ground with his gloves when he crouched. At St Ge­orge’s Park, the chal­lenge was the ball skid­ding through low; at Old Traf­ford it has been the ball bounc­ing ab­nor­mally, which is where that phys­i­cal at­tribute of flop­pi­ness comes in use­ful be­cause it is all about open­ing up the hips to catch the ball leap­ing to ei­ther side.

Pak­istan’s wick­et­keeper Mo­ham­mad Rizwan showed how it should be done when open­ing up his hips and tak­ing the zip­ping leg-breaks of

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