On the eve of the first Test of the 2021-22 Ashes, England wicket-keeper batter Jos Buttler on Tuesday said that it’s not impossible to beat Australia at Gabba, where the hosts have an intimidating record over the years.
England have not won at the Gabba since 1986, losing six Tests and drawing two in that time. However, Australia’s record of not losing a game at the Gabba since 1988 - was broken recently by India in January this year and it gives Buttler enough confidence to repeat that if England bring out their A game.
“Any time you come and play in Australia as an England team it’s a huge challenge, history tells you that. That makes it exciting. Australia tend to play well here (Brisbane) but they obviously lost to India recently at this venue, which proves it’s not impossible to beat them here," Cricbuzz quoted Buttler as saying.
“We know that to be able to do that we have to perform close to our best as a side. We focus a lot on ourselves - the opposition are a fantastic team - but we know if we bring our A game we will be there or thereabouts," he added.
Buttler also reiterated that the decision to rest James Anderson from the first Ashes Test, starting Wednesday at the Gabba, was taken keeping in mind his workload and not because the pacer is unfit.
England left out the veteran fast bowler of the 12-man shortlist for the Ashes 2021-22 opener, fuelling speculations over the match fitness of the 39-year-old.
“Jimmy’s not going to play but he is fit. It’s obviously a very long series and we want a guy like that to be available to play as much of a part as possible. It’s just precautionary. He bowled well yesterday and again today. He’s fit but the guys are just being cautious," the wicket-keeper said.
The attacking batsman also spoke about star all-rounder Ben Stokes’s inclusion in the team. Stokes last played a Test in March and since then, he was on a break, working on his mental health.
“He’s been performing very nicely in the nets, and in that warm-up game he looks fit, he looks strong and he’s hitting the ball well as well," said Buttler.
“It’s a massive plus for us as a side with Ben being available to play. He brings so much to the team, not just with his skills set, but on the field his character we all know about as well. So to have him back amongst the ranks is a big lift for everyone in the dressing room," he added.
Giving an update on Stuart Broad, who was dealing with a calf injury, Buttler said that the bowler is ‘good to go’.
“Obviously, he had an injury at the end of the summer in England, but he’s been coming back well from that," he said.
“The build-up’s been here, it’s been a bit challenging in certain ways so he didn’t have that time playing warm-up games as much as he could. But he bowled well in the nets yesterday, I faced him there and he looks pretty good," he added.