In his first Sky Sports column, Jos Buttler discusses Adil Rashid’s Test recall, Jordan Clark’s incredible Roses hat-trick and the challenge of taking on an “outstanding” India Test side…
Since the squad for the first Test was announced last week there has been a lot of talk in the media about Adil Rashid’s inclusion – I think it’s a really exciting selection.
Adil is an immensely talented bowler and he’s bowling as well as I’ve seen him bowl at the minute, he’s had a fantastic summer. I’m sure it’s exciting for him and it’s exciting for English cricket to have him back.
0:31 Adil Rashid admitted he was 'surprised' by his recall to the England Test side
I guess there are some similarities to when I was picked for the Pakistan series. We’ve both been selected on white-ball form so I think it shows that the selectors have a broad outlook and they’re watching every game pretty much, whether it is red-ball, white-ball or whatever.
As for Adil, he’s obviously had some good conversations with Ed Smith, they’ve asked if he’s available and he wants to play. Hopefully it goes really well for him and, as I say, it’s great to have him in the squad because he’s a fantastic bowler. I’m sure he’ll do great.
I was really pleased with how the Pakistan series went, personally. It was a little bit of a surprise to get called up and there was an element of the unknown having not played red-ball cricket for a while.
The most pleasing thing for me was being able to maintain the outlook I wanted to have on the game, continue the good mindset that I’d had during the IPL and transform that into Test cricket.
I just loved being back around Test cricket, it is something you always want to be a part of. You just have to take every opportunity to enjoy it and that’s what I have to take into this series as well.
We managed to win the ODI series against India and while the white-ball stuff might not have a big impact on the Tests, I think if plenty of the guys have been in good form, as they have been during the one-day series, they can transfer that into the Test matches.
Confidence is obviously vital in sport and having so many guys coming into a big series having played some good cricket and feeling confident is a good place to be in.
It was fantastic to be back playing for Lancashire in the past couple of weeks, especially in two Roses matches – they were two very different games, played on the same pitch!
3:39 Highlights from an epic Vitality Blast match at Old Trafford as Lancashire pipped Roses rivals Yorkshire by one run
Everyone in either dressing room will tell you the Roses game is the one you look out for at the beginning of the year, it’s always an incredible atmosphere. Old Trafford creates a brilliant atmosphere and it was fitting that the T20 game went down to the final ball – and it was even better to win!
Unfortunately, we weren’t on the right side of the result in the four-day game. Having seen the way the pitch played on the Friday night, people thought it was going to be a game full of runs but it didn’t turn out that way.
Jordan Clark’s hat-trick was one of the best moments I’ve been a part of on a cricket field though – it was incredible! I don’t think there can have been a hat-trick of better players, Stuart Broad showed me one from Irfan Pathan, against Pakistan, the other day that included Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan so that was a pretty good one but Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson are incredible players!
0:22 Jordan Clark dismissed Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow from successive balls during a stunning Roses hat-trick. Video courtesy of ECB.
That might be the last time they ever play together in a game so it was an awesome moment, very surreal to be there and witness it and I was delighted for Jordan.
I’m sure that game will be talked about in the England dressing room, especially by the Yorkshire boys, they’re always keen to tell everyone that they’re the best! In all seriousness though, everyone is just looking forward to getting back together and getting into training.
I think Joe is really putting his stamp on the side now. We’ve got a great group of players with Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, who have been there and done it over a number of years, as well as other core, senior players like Jonny, Ben Stokes and obviously Joe as captain.
It’s a great group and India are an outstanding Test match team so it is going to be a huge series for everyone involved, there are some great match-ups. We’ll prepare well and have plans for individual players in the opposition but it also comes back to what we do well as a side and, especially in home conditions, what works for us. That’s what the guys will be focusing on.
England vs India
August 1, 2018, 10:00am
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We’ve had an incredible summer and I don’t think we should moan about it too much but the pitches might be a bit drier. I’m sure English conditions – cloud cover and swing – will still be very prevalent in the series though.
I don’t think it’s going to be quite subcontinental conditions but in international cricket you need to adapt to all conditions, whether that be home or away. The side that does that the best will have a good series.
I’m sure there will be some great atmospheres over the new few weeks, the Indian fans are very loud and I’m sure there will be plenty of support for us, from the Barmy Army, in amongst it as well. It should make for some really exciting Test matches in front of such good crowds.
Watch the first Test between England and India from 10am, Wednesday on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.