England Test captain Joe Root has backed wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler to continue in his role in the Test team, adding that there is ‘simply no vacancy’ and that it would take a unique situation if Ben Foakes makes his way into the team ahead of the Lancashire stumper.
Jos Buttler enjoyed a prolific home Test summer in 2020 where he starred in one of England’s great comebacks alongside Chris Woakes against Pakistan besides scoring his 2nd Test ton.
Ben Foakes enjoyed a prolific winter two years ago in Sri Lanka where he smashed 277 runs in 3 Tests at average close to 70 but his last appearance came way back in the Caribbean in 2019, post which he has been consigned to a back-up keeper’s role.
“When it comes to the selections of the teams, we’ll look at the conditions, consider everything and make a call when we’re out there,” Joe Root told Sky Sports.
“What I will say is we’ve got Jos coming off the back of a 150 and in probably some of the best form you’ve seen him in Test cricket. As far as I’m concerned, it will have to be a really unique situation for that to change,” he added.
“Jos, as a senior member of the squad in great form, was an integral part of our success in the backend of the summer. I’m really excited for him to carry that form forward,” he said.
‘There is a likelihood that an opportunity might arise’- Joe Root on Ben Foakes
England chairman of selectors Ed Smith had recently suggested that the Joe Root-led unit might follow rotation policy during the winter, meaning that Ben Foakes might get an opportunity at some point during the course of six Test matches in Sri Lanka and India.
On Ben Foakes, Joe Root said that the wicketkeeper must nail the opportunity as and when it arrives.
“For Ben, at some point, there is a likelihood that an opportunity might arise and when he gets that he’s got to take it,” Joe Root said.
“There might be periods where different players will be in and out throughout the whole winter. It’ll mean probably a slightly different make-up to the team at different stages, but it’ll also mean a great and exciting opportunity to look at things slightly differently,” he added.
Meanwhile, England touring party reached Sri Lanka on Sunday, post which they were subjected to disinfection.
The touring party will undergo a mandatory quarantine in Hambantota before the first Test kicks off in Galle from January 14.