England’s Jos Buttler has proven credentials in white-ball cricket, but the same cannot be said for the Test matches. After having an ordinary 2019, where he played 11 Tests and scored 502 runs at an average of 25, he admitted that he's not been "quite performing to the standards" he would want to in Tests and is working on improvement.
"I feel like I'm not quite performing to the standards I need to," Buttler said ahead of the New Year's Test against South Africa on Wednesday. "I'm trying to improve that and affect games in positive ways for England."
Buttler had come back to the Test side in 2018 after a hiatus of one year and managed to impress one and all with his ton against India. In fact he went on to score 760 runs at an average of 44.70.
"Since I've come back into Test cricket I've tried to trust my defense for longer periods of time," Buttler said. "I've been able to do that on occasions. But [playing my natural game] is certainly something I'm trying to work out.
"You can do a lot of work in the nets but I'm spending a lot of time thinking about the game when I'm in my room or trying to visualise things or work through them in my head. Moving forward I've got to play the situation, but I will try to be a bit more positive."
In the first Test, South Africa’s Quinton De Kock slammed a 95 and 37-ball 34 and Buttler wants to draw inspiration from his counterpart.
"Quinton played a really good knock and put pressure back on the bowlers," Buttler said. "He tried to take the initiative and, watching that from behind the stumps, it resonated with me.
"When you're batting with the tail, you try to sum up situations and work out how best you can score. You work out your risk management: what is too much risk; what is trying to push the game on. Looking ahead to this Test, I want to look to be a bit busier and try to look a bit more on the positive side."