By Ryan Moran
- England currently lead 1-0 coming into the final test.
- Bairstow replaces Buttler as wicketkeeper.
- Final test starts in Sharjah on 1st
Sharjah, UAE – After a string of poor batting performances, Jos Buttler has been dropped for the final test and replaced by James Taylor with Jonny Bairstow taking over as wicketkeeper against Pakistan.
With one test match left in England’s tour of the UAE, Taylor has finally been given his first chance in three years. Buttler’s batting performances always left the batsman’s place in doubt. Over four innings, an average of 8.5 with a high score of 23 more than warrants the Lancashire player being dropped. Bairstow moves in to take Buttler’s place behind the stumps however Nottinghamshire batsmen Taylor is likely to be batting at Bairstow’s number five position with the wicket keeper moving down to number seven.
Alastair Cook spoke to the BBC about the decision to call Taylor up to the side:
“You don’t average 47/8 in first class cricket without being a very good player. He’s going to add a lot to our batting in the next few years.”
Taylor has already featured once on the tour in one of the two day tour matches against Pakistan A scoring 61 on his return to test cricket with England since the South Africa tour in 2012. Having impressed in the ODI series, his first class batting for Notts warranted the batsman’s selection and is now given the chance with Trevor Bayliss’ chance looking for redemption, trailing 1-0 going into the final match in the series at Sharjah.
Mark Wood has also been left out of the final test in the series because of an ankle problem. The Durham bowler’s replacement is still undecided with Cook reported to be deciding between Liam Plunkett as an extra seamer or Samit Patel as a third spinner. Both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid’s spin consistency has been questioned with reference to its effectiveness. While Plunkett provides a like for like swap being a seam bowler, Patel not only gives more options for spin bowling but more strength in depth with the batting with the Notts player being an all-rounder. Aside from featuring in the second two day tour match, like Taylor, Patel last played international test cricket back in 2012 while Yorkshire bowler Plunkett last played against India at Lords last summer.
Ali is likely to retain his opening batting spot alongside Cook, however this by no means provides a long term solution with the all-rounder yet to score 50 on the tour. However Alex Hales’ poor performance in the tour match also left doubts as to whether he could fill the opening slot.
England go to Sharjah on 1st November to earn a draw as the three match test series with Pakistan comes to an end.
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