England news September 13, 2012

Buttler's confidence ramped up


Jos Buttler has admitted his relief at being able to play a part in an England victory after his brutal 32 off 10 balls against South Africa gave England a timely boost ahead of the World Twenty20. It was the first time Buttler had managed to translate his county exploits for Somerset onto the international stage and it has thrown his name into the spotlight as the team fly to Sri Lanka.

Buttler's England career remains in its infancy having made his debut last year against India so time was always on his side, but he came with such a reputation for matchwinning innings at domestic level that it was important to live up to his billing after six previous innings had brought a best of 13. That was quickly eclipsed as he straight drove two sixes off Wayne Parnell then twice flicked him over short fine-leg with his 'ramp' shot - the penultimate over of the shortened innings going on to cost 32.

"International cricket hasn't quite gone as I'd have hoped but days like this are really pleasing and give me a lot of confidence to take into Sri Lanka," Buttler said. "It was something I was desperate to get in an England shirt, to have that innings.

"I could take confidence from what I've done for Somerset but to do it on the international stage is a really proud moment. It's nice to repay the faith that people have shown in you. But I need to get back in the right frame of mind a look forward to Sri Lanka."

Buttler conceded that his confidence had taken a hit against Pakistan in the UAE earlier this year where his ramp twice brought his downfall during the Twenty20 series. However, he was not about to shelve a shot he had played since his days at the Somerset academy and continued to use it during this year's Friends Life t20 and CB40 competitions. He also said that a chat with Mark Bawden, the England team psychologist, and his county captain Marcus Trescothick had relaxed him ahead of the final match against South Africa.

"I had a bit of a confidence knock by getting out to it in Dubai, but think being myself was a huge thing," he said. "I had a good chat about things and had a nice couple of texts off Tres, just saying be yourself and enjoy it and that's what I did.

"It's a huge part of my game to either get fine leg or mid-off up to be able to hit straight and sweep. I always know I have an option. Guys improvise a lot these days and try to second guess bowlers so I'm glad I can do that and have it in my armoury."

Nowadays players practice scoops, ramps, flicks and switch-hits as much as their cover drives, hook and pulls and Buttler's belief in the shot comes from hours against the bowling machine to the extent that he sees it as a viable option regardless of how the bowler responds. That was shown on Wednesday at Edgbaston when Parnell tried to counter Buttler's approach by dragging his line outside off stump only to see the ball still fly over short fine-leg

"I'm looking for a ball in an area but I've worked on ways to compensate if it's in other areas and get bat on it and get off strike," Buttler said. "The way I play it, I think I can do it to a full ball, a wide ball or a back-of-a-length ball. I'm really comfortable with the shot, obviously it didn't work against Pakistan in the UAE - but talking to people they said it was a huge a part to my game so keep trying it and it came off."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on September 16, 2012, 19:41 GMT

    @mikey76 on (September 16 2012, 18:44 PM GMT) I know what you're saying there. I think I revisit 2005 too often , with the team balance etc. I've always preferred the 5/1/5 formation - always will , but also that was a much more aggressive batting line up. I'm not sure we do attrition so well these days either. A case in point is Bell , who I think looks a totally more accomplished player when he attacks than when he tries to do attrition

  • michael on September 16, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    JG2704. Not too worried about attacking batting either. India is all about attrition and wearing their bowlers down. I would much rather be 250/4 at stumps on the first day than 350/8. Its certainly not pretty but I'll quite happily settle for Trott and Cook building some epic partnerships.

  • michael on September 16, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    JG2704. The old adage catches win matches still holds true. It was the dropped catches against SA that really killed us. But anyway I wouldnt be disapointed to see Monty go, I just think its time Kerrigan was rewarded for some excellent county and Lions form. It will be interesting to see which way Cook and Flower go in India, if they want to accommodate 2 spinners they may have to move Prior up to 6.

  • John on September 16, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    @mikey76 on (September 15 2012, 18:20 PM GMT) Compton has opened for Somerset and with success. Personally I'd prefer a more attacking batting line up anyway so if Nick comes in for KP (which now looks unlikely if KP comes back) that would make it even less attacking. I think they'll more likely go for Root but Compton scoring 450 more runs and over doubling Root's average would feel very hard done by not to get the nod. As for Monty , I'd disagree that he was the reason we lost the 1st test in SL. He had a mare but if you look at Eng's first inns scorecard you'll find many other reasons why we failed to win that test. The same reasons why we failed to win anything in UAE. Difference is that Monty gets outed straight away.

  • michael on September 15, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    JG2704. I don't see Compton as an opener, especially for the long term. I would love to see Root go. Boycott rates him highly which is a good endorsement. Compton would be my cover for KP if he doesn't tour or Bell who may be away for a time. Yes Panesar offers a lot with the ball but he definitely cost us a test match in SL last winter, whilst Tredwell and Kerrigan are both solid all round cricketers. The days of having Phil Tufnel type cricketers in the side regardless of talent are a thing of the past. You need to offer more than just your bowling these days, even Shane Warne understood that.

  • Mathew on September 15, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Alot of young talent is emerging from the Eng ranks. If one or two can transfer this to the test arena we might be near the top for some time. JB is a one day player and like Morgan I think he would do best to keep at that format. Bairstow/Taylor I think would make better test players.

  • Colin on September 15, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Hey Randy, Jonesy, Surly et al...you do realise that the Aussie PM is Welsh and the leader of the opposition is a Pom? Talent thin in England? Hard to state that convincingly when Forrest, Smith, Doherty and Cowan regularly play for you guys.

  • John on September 15, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @mikey76 on (September 14 2012, 21:57 PM GMT) I'd say Compton would be vying for Strauss's position rather than KPs. I still like Monty despite him being poor in the field - I think he compensates with his bowling

  • michael on September 14, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    @JG2704. Much depends on whether Pietersen goes to India. I would still take him along with Root and Bairstow and have Taylor on standby. Morgan doesn't deserve selection after his horrendous championship form. No need to take Kieswetter either as reserve keeper as Bairstow could fill that role. Would leave Panesar behind too, our catching is bad enough at the moment without that clown in the field. I would pick Kerrigan along with Swann and Tredwell.

  • John on September 14, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (September 14 2012, 13:46 PM GMT) Good comment but I fear you have wasted your time typing it out.

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