Jos Buttler has license to smash ball if he plays in Mohali cricket Test against India

Coach Trevor Bayliss says if Buttler plays his first Test in 13 months, England want to see him take the attack to hosts.

Jos Buttler could replace the struggling Ben Duckett in England's middle order for the third Test at Mohali. Gareth Copley / Getty Images
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Jos Buttler will be under orders to bring his limited-overs brilliance with him – if and when he returns to Test cricket against India.

Buttler appears to be lined up to replace the out-of-sorts Ben Duckett in the third Test in Mohali next weekend, as England seek to battle back from a 1-0 deficit after their 246-run defeat in Vizag.

Coach Trevor Bayliss stopped short of confirming that intention, but he has made it abundantly clear that if Buttler plays his first Test in 13 months – as a specialist batsman, following his dropping as wicketkeeper against Pakistan in the UAE last year – England want to see him take the attack to their hosts.

Buttler is responsible for England’s three fastest ever one-day international hundreds, but in his 15 Tests so far averages only 30.

The time appears to be right nonetheless for a recall following the struggles over England’s last four Tests, in Bangladesh and India, of first Gary Ballance and then Duckett in the number four position.

Bayliss said: “The one thing with Jos, if he plays the same way as he does in one-day cricket, I think that’s the way ahead for him, red ball or white ball.

“I think he’s starting to get his head around that fact.

“He’s in the top echelon of destructive batters when it comes to white-ball cricket, and there’s no reason - if he can get his head around playing against a red ball - that he can’t do the same and put the pressure back on the opposition.

“If someone like Jos is able to do that, it would take a bit of pressure off the rest of the guys.”

From Osman Samiuddin:

Vizag verdict: Honourable defeat or depressing inevitability

Draw in Rajkot: Do not draw too many conclusions

Broad at 100: Force of nature that can take match away

The nature of England’s hectic tour means there has not been, and will not be, any opportunity for match practice between Test engagements.

Bayliss added: “He’s certainly hitting the ball very well in the nets. Yes, we would have liked him to have a hit-out at some stage (before the third Test).

“But it is what it is these days - we’ve no time to fit one in.

“If he does come in I think he’ll give it his best shot, I’m sure.”

Duckett looks set to be taken out of the action after scores of five and nought in his fourth Test, in which it became clear his technique is vulnerable to India’s spinners on sub-continental pitches.

“Every level you get to, you go up,” said Bayliss.

“It gets harder and harder, and the step is bigger.

“Ben’s working harder than anyone in the nets to try to fix things up, getting himself into a position that he is confident enough in to score runs.

“I think he’s got a special talent. Whether he plays the next match or not, I think he’ll play a lot more for England.”

The tourists’ batsmen have precious little previous experience of Indian conditions, in fact, and Bayliss believes, in the circumstances, they have adapted as well as anyone could expect so far.

“It’s not just Ben,” he said.

“Apart from Cooky [captain Alastair Cook], I think Joe Root has maybe had one innings here before - the rest of the batters are all here for the first time, in hostile conditions.

“I think they’ve done extremely well, learning on the job but learning very quickly.”

England will hope reports of conditions which might suit them better in Mohali turn out to be accurate.

Either way, though, Bayliss believes they have shown already that they are a match for India.

“We’re under no illusions this is going to be a very, very difficult Test series,” he said.

“We set out at the start to put the pressure on the opposition, and I think we’ve achieved that.

“I’d like to think they know they’re in a contest.”

Series schedule

First Test Match drawn at Rajkot

Second Test India win by 246 runs at Visakhapatnam

Third Test Saturday-November 30, Mohali

Fourth Test December 8-12, Mumbai

Fifth Test December 16-20, Chennai

Three ODIs begin from January 15, 2017

Three T20Is begin from January 26, 2017

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