England v SA, 3rd NatWest T20I, Edgbaston September 12, 2012

Broad praise for 'game-changing' Buttler

Stuart Broad lauded Jos Buttler as a "game-changer" after his explosive 32 off 10 balls helped power England to a series-leveling victory against South Africa.

It was the first time Buttler had clicked at international level after six previous T20 innings had brought a top score of 13, to go with a duck on ODI debut. This time, however, he had equalled that after just three balls following two huge straight sixes off Wayne Parnell, which were followed by a brace of scoops for four and another pull over midwicket in an over that cost 32.

The innings had been less convincing until Buttler's intervention as both Luke Wright and Eoin Morgan struggled for their timing, leaving Craig Kieswetter to carry England before getting some crucial assistance.

"We knew we had hitters to come in and Jos played a game-changing innings," Broad said. "We've picked guys who can change the momentum of Twenty20 games. We've seen this fella do it for Somerset time and time again so to see him do it in an England shirt was brilliant. It pretty much won us the game."

"Going into the final three overs it looked like we needed a push, Jos got 32 in 10 balls and that would change most games. It was awesome to see and a great confidence for the squad going to Sri Lanka. To get on that flight with a win under our belt is brilliant."

AB de Villiers was also gracious about Buttler's innings which meant both limited-overs legs of the tour were shared following the 2-2 result in the one-day series.

"You have to give credit where it's due and he certainly took it to us," de Villiers said. "I thought he hit a few very inventive shots and that's what's needed in this format. It certainly wasn't our best performance, we came up short in a few areas and in the field as well it was not the smoothest display. We were pretty much outplayed tonight."

For both captains thoughts now turn to the impending challenges in Sri Lanka. Throughout the series there was plenty of attention on the World Twenty20, with the teams rotating their squads. England gave all 15 of their players an outing, bringing in Michael Lumb, Danny Briggs and Tim Bresnan at Edgbaston, while from South Africa only Farhaan Behardien did not get an game.

"We obviously wanted to give guys experience," Broad said. "I didn't want guys who maybe hadn't played for England for a couple of years to have to make a difference in the semi-final or something. We wanted to come away with victories from this series, and we're pleased to have drawn the series after the first game, but there was half an eye on the World Twenty20."

Part of that thinking was behind giving Briggs the new ball on his T20 debut. His first over went for nine, but he twice beat Hashim Amla, then he returned to have Faf du Plessis caught at cover. Opening with spin could yet be a tactic used in the coming weeks.

"We've not done that a huge amount as an England team, but other teams have done it," Broad said. "It was good to have that option. Finny has been fantastic with the new ball, getting early wickets but without him today I thought it was a good option to try spin."

De Villiers was also pleased with what his team had gained from the seris, even though the last two matches were reduced to nine and 11 overs by rain. De Villiers believes that the experience of playing in reduced matches could yet prove invaluable.

"At this level you have to adapt no matter what situation you find yourself in," he said. "I hear there is quite a bit of rain around in Sri Lanka at the moment and we might get a few rain-delayed games and it might cost you the World Cup. We have played a couple now, one good, one not so good, so we can take some learning out of that. There's no room for error that's for sure. We've had a taste for it now and will be better prepared now."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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