Jos Buttler has described his maiden Test century as the “proudest moment” of his England career. The right-hander scored a fighting ton in the second innings of the third England vs India Test.
Buttler made 106, putting on 169 in 57 overs with Ben Stokes for the fifth wicket to give his team a glimmer of hope that they might even save the game. It looked like India would complete the proceedings quickly when they had England reeling at 62 for 4. However, Butter and Ben Stokes stitched together a century-plus stand to frustrate the visitors. The duo worked patiently as they benefitted from a lack of swing as the game progressed.
Buttler, dropped on one by Pant, was eventually pinned lbw by Jasprit Bumrah (5-85). England eventually finished the day on 311 for 9 in pursuit of an improbable 521.
Defeat is now certainly on the cards, although Buttler – who previous Test-best of 85 came on his debut four years ago – said he was determined to put in a fighting performance.
“It’s really satisfying. It has been a long time coming,” said Buttler. “And it was, a few months ago, a million miles away so it’s a huge moment for me. I don’t think I can underestimate that feeling. I’m obviously personally delighted. A little bit lost for words but delighted.
“I think definitely to prove you can do it in the middle, that’s a huge part of the feeling of it. Not just for yourself or anyone else, but to show you can do it for your team as well is maybe the biggest thing. And to feel like you’ve done something for the team and you hopefully belong. But it’s more about backing it up and doing it again because it’s not easy.
“I was never sure if I’d ever play Test cricket again. All those thoughts go through your head while you’re out there as well and you start to get close and you’re trying to concentrate on the ball. I never thought this would happen so to try to make sure it does. Definitely times when I thought that race was run.”
Buttler made his comeback to the Test side earlier this year against Pakistan. And the 26-year old finally managed to give a couple of performances in white which is worth mentioning.
His 67-run knock in the second innings of Lord’s Test could not help England avoid a nine-wicket defeat against Pakistan. But his stroke-filled 80 at Headingley led England to an innings and 55-run. It was a performance that squared the two-match series and earned him the man-of-the-match champagne.
Buttler further said that a Test century was more satisfying than any of his white-ball achievements.
“A lot more fulfilment probably. It’s just been a longer time coming I think,” said Buttler. “A hundred in any red-ball game – I think it’s the first one I’ve scored for five years probably – so it’s definitely a big moment for me and it means a lot and it just proves to me I can do it and the hunger to go and do it again. I’ve definitely remembered how hard Test cricket is having come back into it. It’s really tough. It’s tough cricket, it tests you in all sorts of ways and yeah, it’s definitely the proudest moment in an England shirt.”
The keeper-batsman also mentioned the importance of putting up a fighting show in the second innings. England were all out for 161 inside a session in the first innings. However, the partnership between Buttler and Stokes and a stubborn tail meant England were able to take the game into the fifth day.
“It was very important for us today to turn up and show a lot of character and a lot of fight and not give it to India easily and make them work hard and we did that really well throughout the day,” said Buttler. “Even the two guys there at the end making sure we do come back tomorrow. It showed that no matter what it is, we’re not going to roll over.”