Jos is set for all-out at­tack

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT -

JOS But­tler says he is ready to go on all-out at­tack when Eng­land take on South Africa in the third Test, which starts on Thurs­day.

The Lan­cashire wick­et­keeper al­lowed his mood to boil over dur­ing the dra­matic fifth day vic­tory in the sec­ond Test, serv­ing up an ex­ple­tive-laden out­burst af­ter Ver­non Phi­lan­der de­clined to get out the way of an in­com­ing throw.

He was fined 15 per cent of his match fee and handed one de­merit point by the match ref­eree and ac­cepts he fell short of the stan­dards re­quired, apol­o­gis­ing to the South African bowler.

How­ever, that won’t stop him look­ing to at­tack Phi­lan­der in an­other way in Port El­iz­a­beth.

He was dis­missed for 29 and 23 at New­lands, but in both in­nings showed signs of the free-flow­ing stroke­play that he of­ten keeps back for lim­ited-overs cricket.

Three times he cleared the ropes, hint­ing at a shift in mind­set from a player who has oc­ca­sion­ally seemed shack­led in his Eng­land whites.

“I do think I can get more out of my­self by try­ing to be pos­i­tive and counter-at­tack,” he said.

“It’s cer­tainly some­thing I will look to try and con­tinue if the sit­u­a­tions al­low, to try and throw a few punches back, to try to make the most of my tal­ent and the skills I’ve got.

“I’ll just try to be au­then­tic and play my way.”

Mean­while, Mark Wood has stepped up his bid to prove he is the man to pro­vide Eng­land with the ‘X fac­tor’ they are look­ing for in their bid to go ahead in the se­ries.

With Lan­cashire’s James An­der­son back home nurs­ing a bro­ken rib, Joe Root’s men are in need of a re­place­ment and would dearly love it to be some­one ca­pa­ble of top­ping 90mph and get­ting un­der the bats­men’s skin.

Wood and Jofra Archer tick that box, but both men have ques­tion marks over their fit­ness.

Wood has not played com­pet­i­tively in the six months since Eng­land’s World Cup fi­nal win, and was named man-of-the-match in his last Test ap­pear­ance al­most a year ago, while Archer has been suf­fer­ing sore­ness in his right el­bow.

The pair have been hit­ting the nets over the past two days and it is Wood who has thrust him­self to the fore for Thurs­day’s clash.

He has bowled at full in­ten­sity in both ses­sions, turn­ing in fiery spell yes­ter­day and at one stage thump­ing team-mate Joe Denly on the glove with a rapid de­liv­ery.

Archer, who took six wick­ets in the se­ries opener at Cen­tu­rion, is im­prov­ing but was vis­i­bly slower than Wood as they bowled side by side un­der the gaze of head coach Chris Sil­ver­wood.

Any con­cerns about their dura­bil­ity would bring Chris Woakes back into the frame as a re­li­able stand-in for An­der­son, al­beit one who is no longer ex­pected to push the speed gun. Root was back with the side hav­ing missed a ses­sion with an up­set stom­ach. The cap­tain had been quar­an­tined briefly at the team ho­tel, a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure af­ter 11 play­ers and six back­room staff were struck down by ill­ness ear­lier in the tour.

Lan­cashire’s Jos But­tler fools around with Eng­land team-mate Joe Denly in train­ing

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