LONDON  -  Jos Buttler, the England vice-captain, felt “a bit of relief” after scoring his maiden Test century in the third Test at Trent Bridge, and said it was “a nice mental hurdle to overcome”.

Buttler scored a gritty 176-ball 106 in England’s second innings in Nottingham, a knock that frustrated India and delayed an inevitable victory.

It was particularly noteworthy for Buttler, given he had taken the T20 route back to the side, and had not played a Test since 2016 when he was called up to the squad to play Pakistan in May.

“To come back into Test cricket and prove to myself that I have got the game to do well and score hundreds was extremely pleasing,” Buttler wrote in his column in Sky Sports.

“It is a nice mental hurdle to overcome knowing that I have a hundred and a clear idea of how I achieved it – it's no longer nagging away at me that I don't have a Test century. Hopefully it's the first of many. I wouldn't say I was desperate to reach three figures but I was aware I hadn't got a hundred before and I felt it was something I needed to do.”

Buttler is usually a flamboyant batsman, but importantly, he showed another dimension to his batting at Trent Bridge. “It was nice to show that I can trust my defence, trust my judgment and not just go crash, bang, wallop,” he said. “If we need a hundred off 100 balls or 10 off 100 balls, I'd like to think I can play accordingly.

 “A key part of my game-plan was to leave the ball well. I've always felt that when I've been successful in red-ball cricket it has been because I've left the ball well and sometimes in cricket the shots you don't play are more important than the ones you do.” Buttler revealed that Jonny Bairstow, who fractured a finger in the previous Test, “seems okay” and is “desperate to play”. That said, Buttler will don the big gloves if required, and “if I am asked to keep wicket in Southampton, it will just be about catching a few and making sure I am prepared for the job”.

He is most excited, however, about James Anderson, who is on the verge of overtaking Glenn McGrath as the most successful paceman in Test history. “Jimmy is a shining example to everyone – his skill levels, his work ethic, his competitiveness,” said Buttler.

 “It's an honour for us to be in the same team as him. It's amazing to think I have been in the side with such a great of the game, which is what he will definitely go down as. He has a cracking sense of humour, too – very witty, very dry – as well as a grumpy side!”

The fourth Test starts on Thursday, 30 August, at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.