Out-of-form wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler's place will be under threat if he doesn't perform in the next two Tests against the West Indies, reckons former England seamer Darren Gough. Buttler has not scored a fifty in his last 12 Test innings and was guilty of dropping Jermaine Blackwood, who ended up scoring match-winning 95 for West Indies in the fourth innings.
"Buttler has got two Test matches to save his career, for me," Gough, who has picked 229 wickets in 58 Tests for England, told Sky Sports Cricket. "He's a terrific talent, lots of kids look up to him and he has all the shots. But, in Test cricket, you can't just keep getting out and that's what he keeps doing."
Gough feels Jofra Archer and Mark Wood should be rotated for the remainder of the series, suggesting to bring back Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, who were both ignored for the opening Test by stand-in skipper Ben Stokes.
"I think Broad's coming back in. I would rest Wood and Anderson at Old Trafford and bring in Broad and Woakes," said Gough. "That would be my plan then, with back-to-back Test matches, you bring Anderson and Wood back (for the third Test). I've said from the start - rotate Archer and Wood.
"We got a bit carried away, seeing Wood bowl really quickly in South Africa. We've seen Archer do it, but it's very hard to do it every single game. Broad, Woakes and Anderson are the reliable three, while Archer and Wood will blow away the opposition on their day."
Gough echoed his former captain Nasser Hussain's thoughts that England should get their selection right to bounce back in the three-Test series. "Pick the right player, for the right conditions and don't get too funky with selection. Stick to the plan and England will come back in this Test series," he said.
Gough raised questions on the selection of Joe Denly, who scored 18 and 29 in the first Test. Since scoring 66 against South Africa in February this year, the batsman has not put on a commendable performance and Gough feels the time has come to perhaps give him a breather and perhaps take a look at one of Dawid Malan, Nick Compton and Keaton Jennings.
"The Denly selection - I think he's been a lucky boy to play the Tests he has played. I love him as a bloke, I think he's a terrific guy," Gough said. "But if you consider that since 2000, 47 batsmen have played for England - there's only three with worse averages to have played 15 Tests. That's Malan, Compton and Jennings - and they've all got hundreds. Denly hasn't got a hundred, so it's time to make a change."