Refreshed Buttler worked with Trescothick after draining World Cup, Ashes summer

By Sports Desk November 17, 2019

Jos Buttler is feeling refreshed after the emotional grind of a Cricket World Cup and Ashes series and revealed he has been working with Marcus Trescothick to improve his red-ball game.

Buttler scored a century in England's drawn tour match against New Zealand A and heads into the Test series against the Black Caps as first-choice wicketkeeper.

The 29-year-old's touch with the bat and neat work with the gloves were among the plusses for England in the three-day contest.

After taking a five-week break to recover from a busy English summer, which resulted in World Cup glory and a drawn Ashes, Buttler is taking an open-minded approach into the two-Test series, for which he has been preparing with former Somerset team-mate and England opener Trescothick. 

"I've nothing to lose with the bat or the gloves," Buttler said. "It's a great time to be involved with a new head coach [Chris Silverwood]. It's a new challenge and I'm going to throw myself into it.

"It was a tough summer - physically and emotionally - great fun, a huge challenge and one you look back on with real fondness. But it took a lot out of most of us. The time we have had off has been invaluable.

"I had a couple of net sessions at Somerset with Marcus Trescothick during this time. I really enjoyed that and got a lot out of it. It gave some building blocks to come here feeling in good touch."

England may have fallen short of victory but skipper Joe Root was encouraged by his side's batting in Whangarei.

During the Ashes, England's highest first-innings score was 374 in the lost Edgbaston Test but they posted 405 all out here and Root wants to see his team making big numbers.

"We want to bat long, especially in the first innings - get ourselves into the game and give us an opportunity of making really big scores. Four-hundred-plus, as generally you can dictate terms from there," Root told Sky Sports.

"It is something we have struggled with over the last couple of years, granted that at home, in particular, we have played on some very challenging surfaces.

"On flatter surfaces, like here, I think it's really important that we get into that mindset.

"I think we have done that really well so far in the two games that we have played, with a couple of guys looking in really good order. I feel we are in pretty good shape going into two big Test matches."

Related items

  • Pickford has not let Southgate down – Southall backs Everton goalkeeper as England's number one Pickford has not let Southgate down – Southall backs Everton goalkeeper as England's number one

    Jordan Pickford has plenty to improve on but there is not a better English goalkeeper, says Everton great Neville Southall.

    Pickford endured a difficult campaign for Everton last season, making four errors that led directly to goals – only Martin Dubravka had more with five – as Carlo Ancelotti's side finished 12th.

    Despite the impressive form of Dean Henderson and Nick Pope, however, Pickford kept his spot in Gareth Southgate's England side for Nations League clashes with Iceland and Denmark in September.

    Everton great Southall believes it was the right choice from Southgate and insists Pickford has come in for unfair criticism.

    "I think it's quite simple. Is there a better English goalkeeper? No there's not, so he's got to be England's number one," Southall told Stats Perform News.

    "I don't think there's any question about that. Who else are you going to play? No disrespect to the others, but they're not as good as him.

    "Was he due a bad season? I suppose he was, but on the flip side I thought he probably cost Everton nine points, but probably saved them six, so he's three down.

    "Three points down over a season, it's not bad really is it. When you look at it like that. For me, he was always going to get some stick.

    "You can see, with people like Joe Hart and Rob Green, once you get in the England team it seems to be just a free-for-all where people batter you. Whatever you do is wrong. 

    "I don't think Jordan has let England down at all, if Gareth is judging him on what he does for England. When has he had a bad game for England? If I was England manager, I'd be picking him because he'd not let me down."

    Southall also feels Pickford has to set himself the target of becoming one of the world's best goalkeepers if he is to truly fulfil his potential. 

    "If I was Ancelotti, I'd be sitting him down and pushing him to another height. See what he can improve on and get it done," Southall added.

    "Where do you want to go? Do you want to be the best in the world or England's number one?

    "If you want to be England's number one, I don't want you to be at the club really, I want you to be the world's number one. He's got to push his expectations.

    "Maybe he should set himself to be the best in the world, not in England. Maybe you've got to set your sights differently. People might say that's stupid, but it doesn't stop ambition or having the drive to be the best.

    "In fact, the drive to be the best will get himself out of a mini-slump. Without the ambition and the arrogance to think that you're going to be number one in the world, you're always going to stay at the same level."

  • Solskjaer 'can't predict' how Maguire will react to Greece ordeal Solskjaer 'can't predict' how Maguire will react to Greece ordeal

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows there are no guarantees over Harry Maguire's form after a tumultuous close-season for the Manchester United captain.

    Maguire was arrested after an incident with police while on holiday on the Greek island of Mykonos last month.

    At a trial on the neighbouring island of Syros, the 27-year-old was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.

    He was handed a suspended prison sentence but maintains his innocence and Maguire's pending appeal nullifies the conviction under Greek law.

    "The process will keep on going," Solskjaer said ahead of United's Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

    "Knowing Harry, he's a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart but naturally, as a human being, it will be in the back of your mind what's happened this summer, and apart from that you have just got to see how it develops with Harry.

    "Personally, I think he will be able to focus on his football but then who am I to … you can't predict how people will react, but so far he's trained well, he's been focused.

    "Hopefully that process will just go on and, of course, we know it's something that will go on in the legal department over there."

    Solskjaer announced earlier this month that Maguire would remain his captain after England boss Gareth Southgate removed him from the national squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the wake of his conviction.

    Maguire joined United for £80million from Leicester City last year, a world-record fee for a defender, and went on to make 55 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20, scoring three goals.

  • Greenwood should not have been called up by England, says Solskjaer Greenwood should not have been called up by England, says Solskjaer

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims England boss Gareth Southgate went against his wishes by calling up Mason Greenwood after the teenager's maiden senior international experience ended in disgrace.

    Greenwood, 18, was selected for the Three Lions squad to face Iceland and Denmark in the Nations League at the start of this month.

    He made his debut from the bench as England won the former game 1-0 but was then sent home along with Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden after the duo breached strict coronavirus protocols by entertaining women at the team hotel.

    Speaking ahead of United's first Premier League game of the 2020-21 season at home to Crystal Palace, Solskjaer questioned England's approach to Greenwood's welfare and suggested he needed a mental break after the rigours of a superb breakthrough campaign, which continued deep into August as United reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

    "Yeah, of course I've spoken to Mason," Solskjaer said. "What we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us.

    "The kid had a fantastic season, he's just come through. I've worked and the club has worked and all the staff here have worked really hard - when we gave Mason enough time on the pitch, when we gave him exposure in the media.

    "Then you come to the end of the season and we've had less than two weeks off and he's called up to the national team."

    Solskjaer seemed to take particular exception to Greenwood being assigned media conference duties ahead of his England debut.

    "I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer, at the club we asked specifically and pointed out he should have had a rest," he added.

    "He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had and the first thing that happens is one, he's called up and two, he's right there in the press.

    "We've done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him he'll be fine."

    Greenwood scored 17 goals in all competitions last season, matching the best return for a teenager in United colours - a distinction he now shares with club greats George Best, Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.