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England’s Ben Foakes admits he is unlikely to oust Jos Buttler despite Test opportunity against India | Cricket News


Jos Buttler will be rested by England after the first Test against India in Chennai, with Ben Foakes expected to take over as wicketkeeper afterwards and Jonny Bairstow, who returns for the third and fourth Tests, also an option

Last Updated: 31/01/21 2:03pm

Ben Foakes trained with the England squad in Sri Lanka ahead of the Test series against India. Pic: ECB

Ben Foakes trained with the England squad in Sri Lanka ahead of the Test series against India. Pic: ECB

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes accepts he has little chance of a lengthy run in the England side despite being primed for a Test comeback against India.

Foakes, who played the last of his five Tests two years ago, is expected to take over the gloves when England rest first choice Jos Buttler after the first of their four-match series, which begins on Friday.

The 27-year-old intends to make the most of that potential opportunity – but admits he is unlikely to oust Buttler behind the stumps on a long-term basis.

“I would expect it’s very much a case of Jos as the number one and I’m probably just in for these three games as a chance to stake my claim, to try and do as well as possible and enjoy playing for England,” said Foakes.

Foakes scored a hundred on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2018

Foakes scored a hundred on his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2018

“Because the strength of competition for the keepers is so high, there are going to be times when I’m not playing. That’s something I just have to accept and be at peace with.

“Jos has been amazing – he’s obviously a world-class player and it’s been a privilege to watch him go about his business. He’s done so well that there hasn’t been a look-in, which is fair enough.

“I guess you do have to accept you’re not going to get a long run, potentially, unless you nail it in every game.

“Because of the way international cricket is, guys come in and out a lot and you have to perform when you do get a chance. If I do, I’ll try and embrace it and do as well as I can.”

2:32
Jos Buttler speaks to Mark Butcher after his partnership with Joe Root helped England get closer to Sri Lanka’s first innings total

Jos Buttler speaks to Mark Butcher after his partnership with Joe Root helped England get closer to Sri Lanka’s first innings total

Foakes impressed with both the gloves and bat when he was first called into the Test side in Sri Lanka in 2018, recording 10 dismissals in the series as well as scoring a century on debut, followed by an unbeaten 65.

But he failed to shine during England’s next two Tests against West Indies later that winter and was dropped in favour of Jonny Bairstow – who then gave way to Buttler following the subsequent Ashes series.

That sudden fall from grace also affected Foakes’ form in county cricket with Surrey, but he is now itching to go as and when the England call comes – even for the first Test in Chennai, if required.

“In a specialist position like a keeper, you never know what’s going to happen, whether it be the day or the week before a game, that Jos gets ill or injured,” he added.

Foakes (L) and Buttler have appeared together before in Test cricket, with Buttler playing purely as a batsman

Foakes (L) and Buttler have appeared together before in Test cricket, with Buttler playing purely as a batsman

“You always have to be on your guard and ready. It’s about having an eye on the first Test but expecting a chance to come in for the second and making sure whatever I get done puts me in a good place.

“I found out maybe 10 days ago that Jos was just in for the first Test – originally I thought I was potentially in line to play the last two, so my training had revolved around trying to play in those.

“There might be a bit of rustiness but I’m comfortable with where my game’s at. After getting dropped last time, you don’t know if you’re going to get another chance to wear the shirt.

“If I get another chance of playing for England, I’ll see where it goes and try to have that positive outlook on it.”



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