England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler said on Saturday he had been stressing about his lack of test runs and feeling the pressure of mounting speculation about his place in the team.
Buttler has a reputation as a swashbuckling batsman in the limited over games but had averaged only 18 runs in his last seven tests since replacing Jonny Bairstow as wicketkeeper in New Zealand last November.
However, a half century on the opening day of the third and final test against West Indies on Friday lifted some of the stress, he said before resuming at the crease.
Asked if he had been fretting about his place, the 29-year-old Buttler told Sky Sports: “Yes, naturally but I think time in the middle gives you confidence and obviously I hadn’t been doing that.
“But I think it’s more about doing a job for your team which I’m very aware of and if you are not quite performing as well as you want, you realise you’re not doing your job as well as you should be for your team.
“I was definitely feeling pressure. I’ve played long enough now to understand when you’re under pressure and it’s on your shoulders and how to deal with it.”
Buttler looked like a man feeling the burden as he played a circumspect innings on Friday but it proved the perfect foil to the more adventurous Ollie Pope, who was 91 not out when bad light ended play.
Buttler’s 56 not out was his 16th test half century but he has only hit a single ton – against India at Trent Bridge two years ago.
He made it clear he realised the importance of a tempered approach in the red ball game.
“The only time I’ve had success at test level is when I’ve trusted my defence. Lots of people expect me to play a certain way because of the way I play in one-day cricket but I’ve never seen test cricket in that way,” he said.
Smiling Saka Lights Up England Again
Kane On Target Again As England Ease Past Ukraine
South Africa Chase Down Record T20 Target To Beat Windies
Argentina FA Training Facility Renamed After Messi
Rybakina Rallies Past Badosa, Potapova Upsets Gauff In Miami
England’s Kane Tells PM Sunak He Aims To Be Premier League Record Scorer
Wales Snatch Late Goal To Draw With Croatia
Bayern Squad Among Best And Can Challenge For Every Title – Tuchel
Germany Kick Off Euro 2024 Mission With Friendly Win Over Peru
Windies Skipper Smashes His Side To T20 Win Over South Africa
Qatar’s Al Thani Submits New US$6 billion Bid For Manchester United – Report
France Already Firing On All Cylinders As New Chapter Begins