Lancashire’s Buttler named as England vice-captain

Jos Buttler has been named as England's vice-captain for the Test series against India
Jos Buttler has been named as England's vice-captain for the Test series against India

Lancashire’s Jos Buttler has been confirmed as England’s vice-captain for the five-match Specsavers Test series against India, starting at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Buttler had made a surprise return to the Test fold earlier this summer.

However, he is clearly well-respected in the England ranks and is already deputy to skipper Eoin Morgan in the white-ball formats.

James Anderson has assisted Test captain Joe Root since the start of the last Ashes series after Ben Stokes was stood down from the role following an alleged late-night incident outside a Bristol nightclub last September.

It was also announced that Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid will be the lone spinner in England’s line-up for the opening Test.

The selection of Rashid has proved divisive due to the leg-spinner signing a white-ball only deal with Yorkshire earlier this year, with Michael Vaughan and Geoffrey Boycott both proving highly critical of the decision.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board announced the leg-spinner will earn his 11th Test cap, and first on home soil, when England begin their marquee Test series of the summer against Virat Kohli’s side.

Fellow spinner Moeen Ali had been tipped for a return to the Test side but will miss out on selection, alongside Essex seamer Jamie Porter, in the final XI.

Ticket sales for England’s 1,000th Test match have increased but the prestigious fixture remains well short of a sell-out.

The landmark nature of the fixture, not the mention its status as a series opener against arguably the biggest draw outside of an Ashes summer, was not met by early uptake at the box office leading to concerns about attendance.

Gloomy estimates predicted a crowd of around 15,000 for the first two days – Wednesday and Thursday – leaving a total of 8,500 tickets unsold.

But, as of Tuesday morning, opening-day sales were closing in on 17,500, with encouraging weather forecasts raising hopes of a reasonable walk-up crowd on the day.

Day two sales were still sluggish at almost 15,000 but Friday was heading for a capacity crowd with the number of available seats in the hundreds.

Both the Barmy Army and its India-supporting counterpart, the Bharat Army, are expected to be well represented at Edgbaston.