Buttler could still be an outstanding red-ball player, says England men’s cricket MD Rob Key

The managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key has said that he sees no reason why Jos Buttler should need to retire from Tests cricket, given his breath-taking form, and added that the 32-year-old batter could still become an “outstanding” red-ball player in the near future.

Buttler ended the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 with Rajasthan Royals scoring 863 runs — the second-highest number of runs in one season of the league — notching four centuries and an equal number of half-tons.

The veteran of 57 Tests was dropped from the away three-Test series against the West Indies because of his form in the Ashes, where he managed just 107 runs at 15.28. He missed the fifth and final Test in Australia because of injury and was replaced by Ben Foakes for the Caribbean tour, which England lost 0-1.

Buttler has decent Test credentials, having scored 2,907 runs at an average of 31.94 in 57 Tests but the below-par performance in the Ashes was a big blow to his red-ball credentials.

However, Key, appearing on ‘The Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club’ show said, “Well, at the moment, Jos is obviously playing white-ball cricket. He’s not in that Test side but I see no reason why Jos Buttler needs to retire from playing Test cricket.

“Now, unless he turns around and says ‘I just want to go down that white-ball path’ then that’s a different conversation. He’s had a pretty big IPL,” added Key.

“I think he’ll come back and then he will start thinking about things but even if in a year’s time, whenever it is, I don’t see why he has to retire unless he turns around and says, ‘I have no interest in the red-ball game whatsoever, it’s not for me.’ I always thought that he could be an outstanding Test match batsman-wicket-keeper,” added Key.

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