Sri Lanka v England: Jos Buttler happy to bat at three in second Test

England batsman Jos Buttler plays a shot against Sri Lanka during the first Test in Galle
Jos Buttler scored 38 and 35 batting at number six in the first Test
Sri Lanka v England: Second Test
Venue: Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy Dates: 14-18 November
Coverage: Watch and listen to the Cricket Social and follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Jos Buttler says he is happy to bat at number three for England in Sri Lanka because being flexible with the batting order is "a real strength".

Batting at three, Moeen Ali was out for a duck and then three as the tourists won the first Test by 211 runs.

England coach Trevor Bayliss said Moeen may move down the order for the second Test this week and named Buttler and Ben Stokes as possible replacements.

"I will bat wherever is required," Buttler, 28, told BBC Sport.

He added that an adaptable batting order has been a strength of England's top-ranked one-day side "for a while now" and could also work in Test cricket.

"There are not many egos in the side that need those defined roles as to where they bat," he said.

"You need a good balance of being settled but it shows a good team environment and ethic that people are willing to play wherever is required."

Moeen moved up the order to three for the second innings of the fourth Test against India this summer - with captain Joe Root switching to four - and scored nine, 50 and 20 in the rest of the series.

After the first Test against Sri Lanka, Bayliss said Buttler would have batted at three in Galle had England bowled first and all-rounder Moeen bowled 40 overs in the first innings.

"That doesn't affect me too much," said Buttler.

"Especially in this part of the world, it doesn't make much difference what number you bat. Whether you're batting number three or number eight, you're probably going to start your innings against spin."

With Jonny Bairstow out with ankle ligament damage sustained playing football in training, Ben Foakes kept wicket instead of one-day international keeper Buttler in the first Test and scored a fine century on debut.

Bairstow trained on Monday but there is no confirmation yet whether he will be available for the second Test in Pallekele, although Bayliss has said all three wicketkeeper-batsmen could play.

Buttler said he has no aspiration to be England's Test wicketkeeper and instead was focused on "scoring runs to try and stay in the side".

"If Jonny was fit, I wouldn't be the wicketkeeper anyway, so Ben Foakes keeping didn't really bother me" he said.

"In your pride as a wicketkeeper, you want to be good enough to be selected - but I didn't keep as well in the one-day series as I would've liked to and it's quite healthy to see someone like Ben come in.

"He's been much talked about as the best gloveman in England for a number of years and it was great to see him first hand and that's the level I've got to try and attain."

Buttler added that Bairstow was a "vital part" of England's side and had done a "fantastic" job as Test wicketkeeper.


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