Kumar Sangakkara wants Jos Buttler to open in the Tests for England. “Buttler. I would open with Buttler rather than playing at 6 or 7. Sehwag, Hayden successfully opened, then why not Buttler?” Sangakkara said during commentary on Sky Sports on the fourth day’s play of the Third Test. He made it clear that he would love to see Ben Foakes, “world’s best wicketkeeper” should continue to play in Tests.
When the co-commentator Nasser Hussain brought up the fact that Jason Roy was an aggressive opener who found it tough against the moving red ball in Tests, Sangakkara said it’s a problem for all openers, and something they need to work on. Sangakkara was of the opinion that someone like Buttler would be a perfect fit under the new management of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.
Buttler has scored 2907 runs from 57 Tests at an average of 31.94 and last played a Test this January during the Ashes series against Australia. Foakes will miss out the Test against India as he has been hit by Covid-19.
Sangakkara has been a big fan of Buttler during IPL as well. “I can’t recall anyone batting this well in IPL history,” Sangakkara, who is the director of cricket at Rajasthan Royals, the team that Buttler is also part of.
Sangakkara has been raving about England’s wicketkeeper Ben Foakes on commentary, and has repeatedly said that Foakes is the “world’s best wicketkeeper” at the moment and has the potential to be a good batsman. He wants Foakes to continue to be in the Tests, and Buttler play as an opener.
Sangakkara played with Foakes for Surrey in English county cricket and Foakes has credited him with the improvement in his batting.
“I never used to look at a batting innings as tactical and up-and-down, I just looked at it as you get yourself in and then you bat. But the amount of detail he [Sangakkara] goes into, where he thinks you can get a foothold in the game and then reining it back in when you feel it’s a crucial time and you can’t get out. Just being able to read a game is something he’s massive on,” Foakes told Wisden.
During the IPL, Sangakkara had talked about Buttler in detail.
“It’s difficult to put into words what he’s done for us this season in terms of T20 batsman. He began off so well, that he had a little flicker at one moment in the tournament, but then he settled down and also had a lot of positive conversations instead of just training. He acknowledged that he is a mortal, a human, and that he cannot maintain that degree of quality every day,” Sangakkara said during IPL.“He can speed up at any time; he will have all of the strokes. He’s a nice guy who knows a lot about the game.”