Gough urges Lancs ace to step up

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Former England fast bowler Darren Gough has challenged Jos Buttler to deliver with the bat on the Test stage if he’s to establish himself as Peter Moores’ No.1 behind the stumps.

While Buttler has delivered for England in 55 one-day internationals and a further 37 Twenty20 games, the Lancashire wicketkeeper is still very much a novice at Test cricket.

Darren Gough with a Lord's Taverners cricket shirt (Photo: Gareth Davies/Pinnacle)

Darren Gough with a Lord's Taverners cricket shirt (Photo: Gareth Davies/Pinnacle)

He has played just three Tests for England since inheriting the gloves from veteran wicketkeeper Matt Prior last summer and has a top score of 85.

But to be a successful wicket-keeper in today’s modern game, Gough is convinced batting is a key component if Buttler is to follow in the footsteps of the likes of heavy scorers Prior, Alec Stewart and Australian Adam Gilchrist.

Now Gough has called on the former Somerset gloveman to start delivering in the Caribbean against the West Indies next month.

“In one-day cricket he is one of the first names on the sheet and I don’t think there is any doubt about that because he is a terrific talent,” said Gough, who is taking part in the second Investec Ashes Cycle Challenge to raise funds for the Lord’s Taverners in July, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, with the inaugural event raising over £280,000 for the Lord’s Taverners and other charities in 2013.

“I think he will be one of the guys that can take England on to the next level in one day cricket without a doubt.

“We need more players that play like him but in the Test arena I think he needs to step up to the plate now.

“He is going to have competition, Jonny Bairstow knows what it’s like now and he is enjoying it and has come a long way.

“Jos has got a bit of pressure there now. We were lucky over many years, we have had Matt Prior and Alex Stewart behind the stumps.

“They are top-class keepers and now we have another one potentially that could be around for 10 years but he needs to perform with the bat.

“You can’t carry a keeper in your side anymore, you need to score runs as Matt Prior did and as Alex Stewart did. He knows that but with his talent I am sure he will.”

England boss Peter Moores has also been heavily criticised in recent weeks, while the clamour for Kevin Pietersen to return to the international fold gets louder and louder.

But Gough has called on England to do their talking on the field and has backed them to beat the West Indies and New Zealand this summer and arrive for an Ashes battle against Australia full of confidence and able to compete with the world’s best side.

To support Goughie’s fundraising efforts please visit lordstaverners.org/ashescycle and keep up with the team’s progress by following @LordsTaverners and @Investecwin – to donate text VELO15 £5 or £10 to 70070