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Jos Buttler not expecting to oust Matt Prior in England test team yet

By GeraintTucker  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

By Paddy von Behr

Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler from Wedmore

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England's rough start down under was perhaps personified by wicketkeeper Matt Prior – but understudy Jos Buttler insists he did not see a window of opportunity.

Buttler, a member of the England Performance Programme Squad, left Somerset for Lancashire earlier this year to enhance his test cricket credentials.

Already a key member of England’s shorter-form setup, the 23-year-old from Wedmore admits he is still some way off challenging for Prior for the test-match gloves.

Prior, considered by many the world’s best keeper-batsman, began this Ashes series out of touch and short of runs.

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However, a half-century in Adelaide ended a dry patch – and Buttler insists he doesn’t want a surprise cap this winter if it comes at a cost to England.

“Matt Prior is a quality player,” he said. “Obviously we saw he got 50 in the second innings and it won’t be long before he is scoring runs again.

“It’s just down to me to keep doing the best I can and scoring runs and if ever I get an opportunity, then great.

“As much as you want to be a part of the England team you are also and England fan, so you’re hoping the guys can do as best as they can.”

Team director Andy Flower has shuffled the England side already in this Ashes series and he has promised further changes ahead of the third test in Perth.

However, Buttler is well aware that England have produced success through continuity in recent years and he does not expect to see too many surprises this winter.

“They picked the side they went with and they obviously trust in that,” he said. “I’m not sure it’s the England way to chop and change really.

“Coming over to Australia was never going to be easy and it looks like Australia have got the momentum obviously, but I am sure England will be trying everything they can to get it back.

“It’s a professional game and I think everyone is aware of how tough the challenges are that everyone faces.

“It is very easy when things aren’t going quite well to say that people need to change something and people are out of form, but it only takes one game or one innings to turn it around and then people are singing everyone’s praises again.”

Buttler is enjoying a busy winter, spending time in Adelaide and Perth with the Performance Squad and planning some competitive cricket over Christmas and into the New Year.

He was named in England’s ODI and T20 squads on Monday and the gloveman will link up with the Melbourne Renegades for the Big Bash, alongside legendary Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

“I will have to get back to trying to slog it, rather than block it,” he said. “It’s a really tough skill, actually – something that I’ve not quite been able to do as well as I would have liked.

“Hopefully the more experience and exposure to both I can get, I can graft away to be consistent across all formats.

“That will be great experience for me to play in a side with him (Muralitharan) – obviously a legend of the game.

“I look forward to meeting him and playing with him. It could be a good challenge in the nets.”

Follow the England Performance Programme squad and their progress this winter at www.ecb.co.uk/epp.

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