England v Sri Lanka: Vaughan backs Buttler for Test spot

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler has impressed former England captain Michael Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan says wicketkeeper Jos Buttler should be picked for the Test side if Matt Prior is not fit.

Prior is aiming to prove his fitness for the first Test against Sri Lanka on 12 June following an Achilles injury.

Buttler, 23, made 121 off 74 balls in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka.

"I've not seen something like that on the international stage since Kevin Pietersen hit a 69-ball hundredexternal-link in South Africa in 2005," said Vaughan.

Buttler's century - the fastest by an England batsman in ODIs - could not prevent a seven-run defeat at Lord's on Saturday.

Prior was dropped for the final two Tests of England's winter Ashes whitewash in Australia, but his replacement, Jonny Bairstow, has struggled with the bat for Yorkshire this season.

Somerset's Craig Kieswetter,external-link 26, Essex's 34-year-old James Foster and Nottinghamshire's Chris Read, 35, have also been mentioned as possible wicketkeepers against Sri Lanka.

England will name their squad on Thursday for the opening Test at Lord's.

"Two weeks ago I said that Craig Kieswetter would be my choice if Matthew Prior wasn't fit," Vaughan told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Over that two weeks I have seen Jos Buttler. We have got someone who is ultra-talented, more so than I realised.

"He plays a brand of cricket and style that I like - a style that can take the game to the opposition.

"I've heard James Foster and Chris Read mentioned. That would be the biggest backward step for English cricket. It doesn't need to happen."

Meanwhile, Vaughan said he cannot wait to see former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff back in action, but warned his ex-team-mate that cricket has moved on since he last played five years ago.

Flintoff, 36, has come out of retirement to play for Lancashire in the T20 Blast.

"Twenty20 cricket is entertainment and I can't wait to watch him," said Vaughan.

"How well he will do? Delivering the ball out of the hand, he will be absolutely fine.

"But we'll wait and see if he'll be able to whack the ball out the ground. The game has moved on."

Flintoff, who played 79 Tests, 141 limited-overs internationals and seven Twenty20s for England between 1998 and 2009, took 3-26 on his return to cricket for club side St Annes on Saturday, but scored only two with the bat.

He has been training with Lancashire since March, and could make his comeback in Friday's T20 derby against Yorkshire at Old Trafford.

But Vaughan said: "I'd be very wary if I was the Lancashire coach of throwing him into that game.

"It is a massive game. Lancashire have won four on the bounce."

Listen to full interview with Andrew Flintoff on the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show podcast.