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Buttler says England white-ball captaincy could end Test career

Jos Buttler (Getty Images)

Jos Buttler said on Friday his appointment as England’s new white-ball captain could spell the end of his Test career.

Buttler succeeded Eoin Morgan as England skipper in the one-day international and T20 formats after the 2019 50-over World Cup-winning captain announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday.

The dynamic 31-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman had been vice-captain to Morgan, who cut short his Test career to focus on white-ball cricket, since 2015.

World Cup winner Buttler, a star of the Indian Premier League, is a formidable run-scorer in limited overs cricket, where his fierce hitting has helped him compile 4 120 runs from 151 ODIs, including 10 hundreds.

But he has had much less success in the five-day Test format, with only two hundreds from 57 matches, and is not a member of England’s squad in the delayed fifth Test against India at Edgbaston.

Buttler is now set to lead England in 12 limited-overs matches against India and South Africa in July, having last played a Test during a woeful 4-0 Ashes series loss in Australia in January.

Nevertheless, Buttler has been tipped by the likes of former England captain Michael Vaughan and Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara to make a Test comeback as an opener, a role where he has excelled in T20 cricket but not one he has known during his red-ball career.

Buttler’s first major global event as captain is set to be the T20 World Cup in Australia in October, with England defending their 50-over crown in India next year.

Morgan cut short his own Test career to focus on his limited-overs duties with and Buttler was doubtful about the prospect of a recall especially after new red-ball skipper Ben Stokes led England to a recent 3-0 whitewash of Test world champions New Zealand.

“Certainly being captain of the white-ball team is my number one priority. I’m very focused and really excited for the challenge that lies ahead,” Buttler told reporters.

“I think it’s going to be a really big challenge and one that needs my full-time attention. Talking about the Test stuff might be a question that never has to be answered unless someone wants to pick me for the team, which hasn’t been the case.

“It’s quite obvious at the minute I was left out on merit and rightfully so. I had a poor Ashes series and I’m not part of the team at the moment.

“The team is playing fantastically well, so it doesn’t look like a team that needs people.”

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