Jos Buttler’s brain is scrambled…but he’s still vital cog in the England Ashes machine, says Steve Harmison


According to England legend Steve Harmison, Jos Buttler’s mind looks fried and he needs rest.

The wicketkeeper twice dropped Marnus Labuschagne – who scored 103 – during the first innings in Adelaide.

Jos Buttler is struggling, as are many of his England teammates in the Ashes


Jos Buttler is struggling, as are many of his England teammates in the Ashes
Former England cricket star Steve Harmison is seeking Butler's 'rest'


Former England cricket star Steve Harmison is seeking Butler’s ‘rest’

He then stepped on his stumps for all but ended the hopes of a draw on the final day.
Buttler’s second innings of 26 off 207 balls restored his reputation somewhat but Ashes winner Harmison, 43, thinks he may need a break.

Former pacer Harmison told SunSport: “He missed two relatively easy chances and you could be out of mind. I think that’s where Jose belongs.

“He’s gone around the world several times and has played in a bubble for the last two years – and it’s nothing to defend him as he should have taken those catches.

“But at this point, he may be one of those people who is fried – brain and mindset wise.

“He could hit a brick wall, and when your mind is like that, you make mistakes like Jose.

“He probably needs rest but he doesn’t have time to rest.”

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After scoring 39 and 23 in the first Test at the Gabba, Buttler had a poor start in Adelaide and was dismissed for naught.

His performance on the field was criticized before the slogan of his second innings – his second longest Test innings – looked like it could deal a blow to England.

But he defended a late delivery from Jhye Richardson on his own stumps, becoming the first England player since Andrew Strauss to ‘hit wicket’ out in 2008.

And he was the first man to do so in the Ashes since Dennis Compton in 1947.

This left only Jimmy Anderson to be dismissed, which the Aussies easily won by 275 runs.

Despite Buttler’s rollercoaster form, Harmison believes England probably have no option but to stick with the 31-year-old even if he looks troubled after his exploits in the T20 World Cup.

Former Durham ace Harmison told Genting Casino: “He wouldn’t be on my hit list to drop. He’s a vital cog in the machine.

“But my only concern is that everything he has suffered in the last 18 months could have a negative impact on him, both physically and mentally. And that’s something he might not even know himself.

“Everyone else has rested and re-energized themselves.

“Jose got a break during the India series, but that’s it. And especially with what he gave during the T20 World Cup, he can be mentally exhausted.

“But you can drop catches under the pressure of the situation.

“He also took two complete beauties in a single day within about ten overs.”

I still think this kid is someone England needs to be with because he is a fantastic cricketer

Steve Harmisonon joss butler

Butler’s Adelaide took a catch to dismiss Marcus Harris in the first innings and Steve Smith was a stoner in the second innings.

And Harmison doesn’t want his poorly patched Down Under to end his international Test career.

He said: “I have been one of the biggest critics of Jose in the last two or three years of my Test career because he hasn’t scored as many centuries as he should have.

“But I still think this kid is someone England needs to be with because he is a fantastic cricketer.

“I am not going to kick him for dropping a catch or two. Everybody does that.”
Joe Root’s captaincy was questioned after his bizarre decision to bat first at the Gabba.

Bowling strategies have also been criticized with Australian legend Ricky Ponting asking, ‘Then why are you the captain?’ When Root reprimanded bowlers for bowling too little in Adelaide.

But Harmison said: “Root is the best person to be captain.

“You can’t defend the batting in Brisbane, it was a big mistake and Joe had to be taken on the chin.

“But he can’t do anything about dropped catches, or bowlers not keeping their feet behind the line. What is happening around him has not helped him.”

Steve Harmison spoke to SunSport via Genting Casino.
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