Prior backing for Foakes

20 February 2021 22:29:32 GMTPlus10

Former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior believes Ben Foakes has the ability to put the pressure on Jos Buttler.

Foakes replaced Buttler behind the stumps for the second Test against India and, despite a crushing 317-run defeat, made a positive impression with the gloves.

With England opting for a rotation policy this winter, the 28-year-old has the chance to state a case to be the long-term Test gloveman for Joe Root's team.

Everybody talks about Ben as a pure keeper but I worry that does him a disservice.

Matt Prior

While his keeping drew the most attention, Foakes also top-scored with 42 not out in the first innings, and a batting average of 41.77 from six Test starts hints at him being able to offer crucia lower-order runs.

Buttler, meanwhile, is a prolific white-ball player but his status as England's Test wicket-keeper has long been debated with most in agreement that Foakes is better with the gloves.

Speaking to TalkSport, Prior, who made 79 Test appearances for England between 2007 and 2014, believes Foakes has what it takes to make the Test spot his won.

"Everybody talks about Ben as a pure keeper but I worry that does him a disservice because he's a really accomplished batsman too," he said. "He's played over a hundred first-class games and averages just under 39. That's good, certainly for a keeper. So I'd hate for him to be pigeon-holed as this purist wicket-keeper.

"If Foakes keeps beautifully again in the next two Tests and also goes 100, 150, it's a fair question to say, 'Hang on, everyone says he's a keeping purist but his stats are better than Jos'. Suddenly he might look the better package."

With the four-Test series tied at 1-1, England are 3.00 to win the third Test, which starts in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.

India are 1.80 with the draw at 6.50.

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