Chennai, Jan 30 (IANS) Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes are England’s X-factor players in the forthcoming four-Test series against India, says wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler.
Archer, Stokes and opening batsman Rory Burns were rested for England’s tour of Sri Lanka and reached India early, before the rest of the squad. They began practice on Saturday even as the rest of the team is in quarantine and will begin its practice from February 2.
“He [Archer] is certainly an X-factor player. Fantastic to have Jofra back in the side. He will be excited for the big series in India,” said Buttler during a virtual interaction with the media on Saturday.
“I think we have a few guys who can do quite amazing things with the ball obviously. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are two of the best seam bowlers to have ever played the game. Jofra obviously is a huge X-factor. Ben Stokes is truly a pretty good X-factor player,” he said.
Buttler backed the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) policy of rotating players for the India series, saying that England have a hectic schedule and living in the bubble can be hard.
“We are very fortunate to play cricket and do the job we love. Having said that we find it challenging to be spending time away from our family. Being in quarantine and locked up in hotels can be tough. Thought ECB has been forward-looking for us as an England group, so to rotate players,” added Buttler.
“At times there is frustration because you want to see your best players on show all the time. (But) it is just not possible with the amount of cricket and amount of time spent in bubbles to keep people healthy doing that. It is important to look after yourselves. With so much uncertainty, I find it tough,” he said.
Buttler, who is vice-captain of the England white-ball team, will return home after the first Test and will later come back to India to join Eoin Morgan’s side for the five-match T20I and three-match ODI series. That will be followed by the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Asked if it will be taxing to be playing too much of white-ball cricket, Buttler said the series against India is important as it will bring together players and prepare the team for the 2021 T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in India in October.
“I think for us and the T20 team looking ahead to the T20 World Cup, we are going with our blueprint of the 50-over World Cup (which England won), where we had a very settled team going into that tournament. Guys were playing together for a long period of time and I think that was a huge plus for us going into that tournament,” he said.
“The T20 side, we haven’t had that time together, so it is important for us to play together as a group and get familiar with roles. To play together as a side against a brilliant team like India in the conditions we face in the world cup is the perfect preparation for that tournament,” added Buttler.