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Jos Buttler dismisses talk he could retire from Test cricket



Jos Buttler has played down fears he could retire from Test cricket by insisting he can still star in all three formats for England.

Buttler’s future has been thrown back into the spotlight by the retirement of Quinton de Kock, the South African wicketkeeper, who quit red ball cricket this week citing the need to balance family life with his career as an international cricketer.

Buttler himself has a young family and told Telegraph Sport earlier this year how he considered skipping the Ashes tour before the decision was made to allow the players’ families to travel Down Under.

England’s capitulation in the series, in which Australia retained the urn in just 12 days of cricket, added to speculation that Buttler could stop playing Test cricket.

But Buttler is adamant he will not follow De Kock into red ball retirement. “That’s Quinton’s own personal situation,” Buttler said ahead of the fourth Test, which starts on Tuesday night.. “The world of cricket will miss him in that format. But I guess [I] commend him for making a decision that’s right for him. Absolutely, you try to do best by the people who mean the most to you and maintain that as being the most important thing. But at the moment I feel I’ve got that support and I’m in a place where I want to try to make [playing all three formats] work. All I’m focusing on at the moment is turning up in Sydney and practising well. The next port of call is to be very immediate on that.”

England are staring down the barrel of a 5-0 series defeat and Butler says Joe Root’s side are desperate to avoid the infamy of a whitewash ahead of the final Tests in Sydney and Hobart.

“We certainly don’t want to lose 5-0,” Buttler added. “Every game you start, you start afresh. We must maintain belief and come around from the disappointment of where we’re at in the series to prepare as well as we can for the game in Sydney. There’s always loads to play for in an England shirt.”

Buttler admitted that the heavy defeat in the third Test had left the team “quite raw”.

“[There’s] an overriding sense of disappointment and frustration,” he said. “We’ve not competed or played the cricket we wanted to turn up and play at the start of the tour. So, to be 3-0 down coming to Sydney, is very disappointing. But with two Test matches still to play, there’s a hell of a lot to play for.

“People talk about playing for pride and the badge, that’s a massive motivation for everyone – both individually and collectively.”

Despite the bold words, Buttler was unable to explain why England had underperformed to such a degree. “If we had those answers, we’d be able to resurrect things a lot quicker,” he said.

“That’s been one of the frustrations of the tour – why haven’t we performed to the level we’re capable of? You look around the squad, here are some fantastically experienced players and some highly talented youngsters. We’re not gelling as a group and individually playing well enough to compete with Australia. [It’s] incredibly frustrating for everyone.

“You have to be able to [park past performances] as an international player. You have to be able to learn quickly and logically and move on to training. The one thing you must do is maintain belief, in yourself and as an individual. I still have an immense amount of belief in my own ability.”

England’s plans for the Test took a hit last night as they were forced to shelve plans to bring Adam Hollioake into the coaching set-up. The former England one-day captain will not link up with the team as planned after a close contact tested positive for Covid-19.



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