Joe Root backs Jos Buttler to bring the fireworks as he returns to Test cricket against Pakistan at Lord’s next week
- Joe Root is excited about Jos Buttler’s return to the Test game next week
- Root says Buttler ‘can change a game with the bat in half an hour’
- England face Pakistan in a two-Test series and need a win after a poor winter
Joe Root believes the return of Jos Buttler against Pakistan at Lord’s next week will provide a welcome shot in the arm for the beleaguered Test game.
Buttler will be back in white clothes for his first game since last September and the England captain is hoping he can finally translate his scintillating white-ball form into significant Test match runs.
‘Jos has done some very special things and won some games when he has been under pressure in white-ball cricket,’ said Root at the launch of England’s new limited-overs New Balance kit.
Jos Buttler (pictured) can be the difference for England against Pakistan says Joe Root
‘Now there is an opportunity to do that in Test cricket and I can see him putting a lot of bums on seats.
‘That is very exciting for me because he can change a game with the bat in half an hour. He can also bring a lot of experience from tournaments around the world and being the one-day vice-captain can help our dressing room, too.
‘The important thing now is for him not to put too much pressure on himself. It is about expressing himself in the longer game and finding that consistency to play the type of innings to put us in a strong position. It is an exciting time for him but it might take a bit of time to come right.’
The captain has decided to finally agree to the wishes of coach Trevor Bayliss and bat at No 3 at the start of the pivotal second year in his role, in an attempt to lead from the front.
Root has not converted any of his last nine half-centuries into three figures but now believes batting at three could be the spark for him to return to the match-defining big hundreds the Test side need from him.
Root believes Buttler is an exciting player with England needing a win after a dreadful winter
‘It’s an opportunity for me to take on a bit more responsibility at the top of the order,’ said Root as he modelled England’s orangey-red Twenty20 kit at the launch in Peckham. ‘I’ve had a year in the captaincy now and I feel I’ve gained enough experience to feel comfortable doing that.
‘For me it was getting used to the role of captain and making sure I could separate the two and make sure my full focus was on my batting when it came around. I feel that I’m able to do that now and will go out to try to set the tone.’
England will be under pressure in the two-Test series against Pakistan and the five-match series against India after a nightmare winter in which they did not win a single one of their seven Tests against Australia and New Zealand.
Root’s first year after replacing Alastair Cook as captain was not always smooth.
‘There were some ups and downs and without reeling off too many cliches I feel better for the learning process,’ he said. ‘When you experience some bad times you learn a lot about your side.
‘I looked around the dressing room and the results were not for a lack of character in every one of those lads.’
Root claims to have learned a lot from his first year in charge and the defeats over the winter