Jos Buttler targets Adam Gilchrist role in England Test side

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Jos Buttler: England 'keeper inspired by Adam Gilchrist

England limited-overs wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is hoping to force his way into the Test team by modelling his game on Australia great Adam Gilchrist.

A ruthless slayer of attacks, Gilchrist averaged 47.60 in 96 Tests, won three Ashes series and three World Cups.

"Gilchrist really changed the role of the wicketkeeper, down the order playing that aggressive, attacking innings," Buttler, 23, told BBC Sport.

"That's the thing that would suit me to try to emulate."

Buttler, who has become England's first choice one-day and Twenty20 wicketkeeper and left Somerset for Lancashire over the winter, also said:

  • His aggressive approach can help fill the void left by Kevin Pietersen
  • His game needs "big improvements" to be a success at the highest level
  • New England coach Peter Moores can restore "spark" to a player's game
  • He would like to play Indian Premier League cricket in the future

An innovative and powerful shot-maker, Buttler has a strike rate of more than 120 runs per 100 balls in each form of the game.

The next step would be a first call-up to the Test side in place of Matt Prior, who struggled with the bat in the home and away Ashes series against Australia, and is battling a recurring Achilles tendon problem.

Buttler, who helped Lancashire beat Northants in the County Championship last week with a counter-attacking second-innings 72, believes his style could be exactly what England need following the jettisoning of seasoned game-changer Pietersen.

"Pietersen was a massive one for being different," said Buttler. "He was a great entertainer, put bums on seats, people wanted to watch him bat because he did it differently and he had a style about him.

"I am not Kevin Pietersen, so I wouldn't be able to do it in his way, but it is about being authentic and playing my brand of cricket.

"You almost have to decide whether you want to conform to the normality of having a good technique and leaving outside off stump or whether you want to be someone who plays a bit differently.

"You might get out in ways that seem unusual in four-day cricket but you know you can play innings that can turn games and win games for your team."

Born in Taunton, Buttler left his home county Somerset in the summer because he was too often their second choice four-day wicketkeeper behind Craig Kieswetter.

Peter Moores
Moores named Buttler in his first England squad to face Scotland on Friday

Having only kept wicket in 21 of his 50 first-class matches to date, Buttler knows he needs to fine-tune his glovework, but hopes the England selectors are ready to take a punt on his potential when they name the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka in June.

"I have big improvements to make in my cricket, to make people take notice," he said.

"But there have been times in the past where England have picked players because they think they can play for England.

"Duncan Fletcher hand-picked Marcus Trescothick and said he was going to be a great Test cricketer for England.

"His average wasn't that high when he was picked. It can work both ways and it is down to the opinion of those who select teams."

Buttler was also drawn to Lancashire by the chance to work with former wicketkeeper Moores on a daily basis.

He describes the coach's subsequent departure for England duty as "not ideal" for his personal development but has seen enough to believe Moores is the right man to drive the national team forward.

"The main things that really stood out were his enthusiasm for the game and his attention to detail," said Buttler.

"He made the sessions I did with him really enjoyable, which helps get that spark back in your cricket. You really walk away feeling you've enjoyed yourself and become a better player."

Despite his T20 prowess, Buttler chose not to enter himself in the Indian Premier League auction in order to focus on his four-day cricket.

But looking ahead, he does not see IPL and Test success as mutually exclusive goals.

"There are only really a handful of guys who master switching between all the forms but that's got to be my ambition," he added.

"Whether I'm good enough, I don't know, but I'll give it my best shot."