Jos Buttler could become a quality Test-match wicketkeeper-batsman if he can cope with the strains on his mind and body, says Nasser Hussain.
Buttler will make his England Test debut against India at The Ageas Bowl from Sunday after replacing stalwart gloveman Matt Prior in the squad.
Sky Cricket expert Hussain reckons the Lancashire star – who has made 33 one-day international and 36 Twenty20 international appearances for his country – still has room for improvement.
But the former England skipper is excited at what Buttler, who scored a stunning 121 off 102 balls in a 50-over clash against Sri Lanka earlier this summer, could ultimately provide in Test cricket.
“The thing Jos will have to adjust to is the mental and physical demands on an international Test wicketkeeper which are immense,” said Hussain.
“There were signs at the end of the one-dayers in Australia that he tired and his keeping wasn’t at his best so he will have to look after himself.
“He is not the finished article – but neither was Prior when he first played Test cricket.
“Matt struggled at times with his keeping and his batting but ended up being a fantastic wicketkeeper-batsman and I think this lad could as well.
“He plays with a smile on his face, his natural instinct is to attack and he has got a huge amount of potential that is worth investing in.
“He is averaging just over 40 for Lancashire in first-class cricket this season and we have already seen him in an England shirt playing brilliantly against Sri Lanka and scoring one of the best hundreds we have ever seen.”
Ben Stokes, meanwhile, could be in danger of losing his spot in the England side for the third Test after notching three ducks in a row and recording a highest score of five in his previous nine international innings.
Hussain says he would drop the Durham all-rounder and pick Chris Jordan, who played in the two-Test series with Sri Lanka in June, but the pundit has urged the England selectors to start thinking ‘long term’.
On Stokes, who scored his maiden Test ton in Perth during England’s Ashes whitewash, Hussain said: “His bowling seems to be okay but his scores with the bat are phenomenally bad.
"He looks like a batsman for whom when it goes pear-shaped it goes really pear-shaped.
“Maybe England will take him out because they’ve got two other options in [Chris] Woakes and Jordan, and I would probably go with Jordan because I wouldn’t have left him out in the first place.
“But England’s selectors have been behind the curve over the last six months, especially with the Matt Prior, Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann situations.
"They need to think long term, not short term.”
Watch day one of the third Test between England and India, from 10am on Sunday on Sky Sports 2.