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Time Running out for Buttler

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Jos Buttler is one of England’s most talented batsmen, and along with Joe Root and Ben Stokes, he has been dubbed as the future of English cricket. However, after a terrible summer against New Zealand and Australia, Buttler has shown no signs of regaining his form against Pakistan.

It was his ODI exploits that got Buttler in the Test squad, but even his performance in this format has suffered lately. He was not involved in the final three ODIs against Australia, with the selectors hoping a rest would allow him to return to form. However, four low scores against Pakistan shows this has not worked.

Buttler has been in the England Test side for nearly eighteen months now, after making his debut against India in the summer of 2014. Despite an impressive start, the Lancashire wicket keeper has failed to kick on and is still awaiting his first Test century.

Johnny Bairstow would be the most likely to replace Buttler as wicket keeper. Bairstow is currently in the side as a batsman only, and although he himself has failed to perform lately, the England selectors may decide giving him the gloves will galvanise him.

Other than Bairstow, there are few options in County Cricket behind the stumps. Sam Billings is seen as very much a one-day specialist, while Chris Read and James Foster are nearing the end of their careers. This could allow Buttler to have a longer run in the side, but if he fails to recover his form the selectors will have to look elsewhere.

Buttler is unlikely to be dropped for the final Test and he is likely be a key player for England in the T20 and ODI series. However, if he performs poorly again, the selectors may have to rethink their strategy going into the key Test series against South Africa.

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