London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to retain an under-fire Alastair Cook as the captain for the third cricket Test against India at Southampton, starying July 27 despite calls for his ouster after the home team lost second Test at Lord`s against India.
The only change in the 13-man England squad is the inclusion of talented wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in place of Matt Prior, who has pulled out due to injury.
The ECB selection committee decided to retain Cook as captain with one of the reasons being lack of options. Former England captains like Ian Botham, Michael Vaughan, Bob Willis have openly criticised his style of captaincy with some of them calling for a change of options.
Cook, however made it clear that he didn`t want to quit at a time when the team is going through a bad patch. Under Cook`s captaincy, England have lost seven out of the last nine Test matches including five in the Ashes Down Under, one each against Sri Lanka and India.
Buttler, the 23-year-old Somerset cricketer has already played 33 ODIs and 36 T20 Internationals for England but will be making his Test debut at the Ageas Bowl after Prior pulled out due to multiple injuries. But Prior`s place was also under scanner as his form had gone downhill since Ashes.
Buttler has scored 2599 runs from 56 first-class games at an average 33.32 with four centuries. He has taken 103 catches and effected two stumpings.
Squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.