Buttler determined to seize opportunity

Jos Buttler is in pole position to become England's one-day wicketkeeper

Jos Buttler is in pole position to become England's one-day wicketkeeper

First published in National Sport © by

Jos Buttler admits replacing friend and county colleague Craig Kieswetter in the England side has been awkward but he intends to make the most of the opportunity.

Buttler was called up in place of Kieswetter for the fourth one-day international in Mohali after a string of unconvincing performances from the first-choice wicketkeeper. He also nudged Kieswetter out of the Twenty20 team before Christmas and the selectors have sent a strong message that both he and Jonny Bairstow will now have a chance to stake their claim for the 50-over spot.

"It is a bit tricky, because Craig and I are good friends and have been for a number of years. I actually made my Somerset debut because Craig was away with England." said Buttler.

"I don't think this will change that; this is the world of professional sport and there's only 11 spaces in the England side that a lot of people want.

"My opportunity has come from the demise of a friend and that's not ideal, when your mate misses out, but it's a huge opportunity for me and one that I want to take."

Buttler is renowned as one of the county game's most exciting batsmen, full of flicks and tricks, and he has already showcased that in a couple of late cameos, including a brief but entertaining 14 in nine balls against India.

His wicketkeeping is still considered a little raw but he has been working diligently to sharpen up and is not fazed by the challenge of establishing himself on the international stage.

"My keeping is still a work in progress, but I think that will improve as time goes on, especially with the amount of work I'm putting into it," he said. "I came into the squad in place of (the rested) Jonathan Trott so I thought batting was the way I would come into the side.

"I didn't really see wicketkeeping coming, but I've been working hard on it before Christmas and also on this trip with Bruce French. It's something I think I'm developing and something I think can become a strength of mine.

"The other strength of my game is trying to be destructive at the end of the innings. It's something I have done for Somerset in the last couple of years and hopefully it's something I can bring into the international game."

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