England v Sri Lanka, Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval June 11, 2013

Buttler ready for unorthodox duel with Malinga

67

Jos Buttler's whirlwind 47 from 16 balls against New Zealand at Trent Bridge last week was one of the most brilliantly unconventional innings ever played by an England batsman. In its dexterity, strength and quick-wittedness, it had reminders of racquet sports and baseball with a spot of cricket thrown in.

If Lasith Malinga is reverse swinging the ball at the end of England's innings at The Oval on Thursday and Buttler is on strike, he could be about to face his greatest challenge of all.

Buttler's knock at Trent Bridge was not as much an innings as an escapade, a tricksy collection of outlandish shots, as dapper as they were mischievous. In less than half an hour at the crease, he surely joined Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan as the type of England batsman to whet the appetite of many an IPL owner - if only they could find a way to get England players on the field.

Buttler is suddenly the England batsman the world wants to see - but next up comes Malinga as England seek to overcome Sri Lanka and all but assure themselves of a place in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

He will attempt to unveil his collection of scoops, swivel scoops and reverse scoops, with an occasional straight slug for good measure, against the bowler with the thickety hairstyle of the jungle and a yorker that can be suitably ferocious.

Buttler did not sound as if he is about to forego the challenge as he prepared for practice in the refined atmosphere of Dulwich College, an independent school in south-east London, where there were more artificial practice strips - a casual count brought 15 - than in any county ground in the land, as well as a square of first-class standard.

"Any shot is harder against reverse swing, but the scoop is a big part of my game," Buttler said. "I practise it a lot and if I feel the situation is right I won't be afraid to play it.

"I played against Malinga in the Champions League for Somerset against Mumbai and also in the World T20. I didn't score many against him in the Champions League.

"He's a world-class bowler and everyone knows how good he is. But I'm confident I can put in some good performances against him. He's different, but he's been around a while so people are more used to him now than when he first came on to the scene."

Mention to Mahela Jayawardene, the great protector of Sri Lanka cricket, that Buttler and perhaps Eoin Morgan too might unveil their scoop shots against Malinga and he smiles at the prospect. He knows it would stretch batting ambition to the limit.

Jayawardene himself does not pretend to have the capacity to do it, and there are few more serenely talented players in the game, and he has never seen Tillakaratne Dilshan - Buttler's TV inspiration when he joined Somerset as a raw teenager - attempt it either.

"Well, let them try it and we'll see," he grinned. "It is a big chance if you want to go for it. It is a calculated risk and a few guys have tried. Some have come off and some haven't and some have got hurt.

"I wish them all the best with it, I wouldn't do it against Malinga but if they want to do it then that is up to them. I remember a few tried and got hit on the toe and hit on the wrist and all that stuff so you've got to be very, very careful.

"I don't play it. Dilshan doesn't play it against him either, not at all and not in the nets. Why would you want to do that? That is ridiculous."

Buttler is committed to far more than novelty these days. He is now absolutely committed to developing his wicketkeeping and his steady improvement, although he has a long way to go, is slowly changing perceptions.

Paul Nixon, a former England keeper, dismissed Buttler and Jonny Bairstow in January as having a long way to go before either could be regarded as a regular gloveman for England in one-day cricket. Five months later, Nixon has floated the possibility that Buttler could develop into the long-term successor to Matt Prior.

"Keeping wicket is a huge part of my game and there's a lot of scope for improvement still. I'm excited about that," Buttler said. "The nature of my game means I'm going down the wicketkeeping route."

If Somerset do not satisfy his ambition to keep in Championship cricket early in the season, he will face a tough decision about whether to remain with the county when his contract expires. "Decisions will be have to be made and there will be talks, but at the moment I'm only focusing on the Champions Trophy," he said.

Buttler has also adopted a more meaningful approach to his batting in the Championship. He has dutifully reined himself in all season during a traumatic start for Somerset and, although it does not yet seem entirely natural to him, the result has been 426 runs at an improved average of 42.60, including a century and two near misses.

"I had a sit down and looked at my Championship cricket," he said. "It's pretty obvious that I've underperformed so far. Maybe I had been using one-day cricket as a bit of an excuse, to say I'm a one-day player and shot maker, those kind of things.

"They were an easy way out and it was a lazy attitude, so I've sat down and thought of a way to transfer into four-day cricket. I was doing myself an injustice because I'm a better player than that. I've been happy with my Championship form so far this year.

"I do get as much pleasure from making runs in the Championship. It's great to be adaptable and show that to other people who may question that element of my game."

But that is for the future. Malinga was narrowly fought off by New Zealand, who inflicted a one-wicket defeat on Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Sunday, leaving them desperate to overturn England and maintain a realistic hope of reaching the semi-finals.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmony111 on June 12, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    There are very few players who have impressed me big time the very first time I saw them play. Mitchell Johnson, Sangakkara, Shoaib, Rohit Sharma, Finn, Cummins are among them. Yeah not everyone in that list turned out to be a great but that's cos most are still a work in progress. I have to say that Butler is one such person who has impressed me a lot. I am not saying what he will go on to do in the next 3-4 years or what sort of grade he deserves as a batsman. All that I am saying is that more than his hitting, it is his approach to hitting that has impressed me. His ramp shot is obviously an improvisation but his main style is to hit the ball straight. In fact, most of his shots that I have seen go in a V that is narrower than the traditional classical V, this shows he like to hit straight which is usually a safe option with high yields and less risk.

    His style is uncomplicated, he does not move too much, has a smooth follow through and doesn't look hurried + his eyes look cold.

  • jmcilhinney on June 12, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Buttler has obviously had lots of success with his ramp/scoop shots but the difficulty of playing that way against Malinga is quite apparent. Because of his round-arm action, the ball's trajectory is significantly lower than for pretty much any other bowler. That's why so many batsmen have trouble picking him when playing conventional strokes. He's so deadly accurate that even the slightest misjudgement can mean curtains for the batsman. Given that scoop/ramp shots are pretty much always premeditated and the fact that Buttler generally exposes at least one stump when he plays them, Malinga's yorkers, particularly the slower ones, would be very hard to play. Even if you do make good contact, the lower trajectory means that the ball will bounce lower off the bat and, as MJ says, could lead to injury.

  • Cyril_Knight on June 11, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Buttler is a strange cricketer. I have enjoyed a chat or two with him and he has so much belief in his style and his shots. He will try to reverse ramp Malinga if he faces him, I've not doubt. He will probably get out doing a "daft" shot, but he is entertaining and certainly has the potential to keep entertaining us for a long time.

    But please Giles take the gloves off him. His footwork is terrible and it is only by fluke that his keeping has not been shown up for what it is yet. Although Matthew Prior also had problems with his footwork and managed to rectify it, Buttler doesn't keep everyday for Somerset. Although England could force Somerset to make him keep again...

  • latecut_04 on June 13, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Leave Malinga alone for Heaven's sake.He may not be able to replicate efforts against Kiwis everytime.Ofcourse plans need to be made about how to counter him but that is different.Need of the hour for SL is other bowlers lifting their performance and Kulasekhaa gettiing a game.Othrwise minus Maling magic they wont stand a chance against English methd and discipline especially bowling

  • on June 13, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    It is good for the game.having contest between bat and ball. I recon it is a respect to the great bowler. Butler has his own mind set and strategy over the tough bowler GOOD LUCK TO HIM and looking forward to the contest

  • rmaganti on June 13, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I think they should ban all shots that are not conventional. Reverse sweep, switch hit and anything which is not in the purists book. These shots are a disgrace to cricket.

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @Partyman on (June 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT) Maybe Jos should not do any interviews as folk put 2 and 2 together to make 5 on these boards. He was asked questions and answered them honestly. He has not said anything disrespectful re LM but is not going to say stuff like "Oh no I think I'll just block him" Also would you not say that he was under some sort of pressure to score very fast runs in the 3rd ODI vs NZ when the batsmen before him scored at a pedestrian pace and vs India he and Morgan saw the side home to a last ball T20 win?

  • Partyman on June 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Jos Buttler needs to be keep quiet and let his bat do the talking. A couple of knocks in not so pressure situations, and all of a sudden he is talking himself up! I thought he was a genteel West country lad, not a obnoxious type. You come up with a substantial knock on Thursday, I will bow to you. But in due course he will realise these kind of words come back to bite you sooner rather than later. Ask Warner what happened to him last summer after vowing to take on Swann! He barely lasted when Swann came on to bowl! Having said that, I sincerely hope Buttler puts one over the Sri Lankans come Thursday.

  • jb633 on June 12, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @Trickstar- i bow down to your superior knowledge. So exactly how many ODI tournaments have we won playing with this conservative approach? The approach is good against average sides with wafer thin batting but do you really think we will beat India and South Africa by setting them 250 on a decent wicket? India are the team to beat and are leading the way with their method. The pitches are getting lower and slower as the games go on and they have wisely realized that with no seam movement they can target the first 10 overs and maximize their scoring whilst the ball is hard and coming on to the bat. Against Aus the approach was fine because they didn't have any spinners and could not utilize the slow nature to the extent that say Pakistan did against SA. I like Trott as a cricketer but think we need to adapt to the surfaces we are producing and stop leaving all the hitting to a 15 over period.

  • shillingsworth on June 12, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @PrasadGunawardane - Buttler gave due credit to Malinga but he's hardly going to talk down his own chances ahead of a match is he? Given the choice, he'd probably prefer to talk after the match but that's outside his control. I see nothing boastful, let alone ridiculous in his comments. @samincolumbia - You seem to have missed the point. Ugly it may be but the skills required to execute it are indeed extraordinary. Try it yourself and see how you get on.

  • Harmony111 on June 12, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    There are very few players who have impressed me big time the very first time I saw them play. Mitchell Johnson, Sangakkara, Shoaib, Rohit Sharma, Finn, Cummins are among them. Yeah not everyone in that list turned out to be a great but that's cos most are still a work in progress. I have to say that Butler is one such person who has impressed me a lot. I am not saying what he will go on to do in the next 3-4 years or what sort of grade he deserves as a batsman. All that I am saying is that more than his hitting, it is his approach to hitting that has impressed me. His ramp shot is obviously an improvisation but his main style is to hit the ball straight. In fact, most of his shots that I have seen go in a V that is narrower than the traditional classical V, this shows he like to hit straight which is usually a safe option with high yields and less risk.

    His style is uncomplicated, he does not move too much, has a smooth follow through and doesn't look hurried + his eyes look cold.

  • jmcilhinney on June 12, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Buttler has obviously had lots of success with his ramp/scoop shots but the difficulty of playing that way against Malinga is quite apparent. Because of his round-arm action, the ball's trajectory is significantly lower than for pretty much any other bowler. That's why so many batsmen have trouble picking him when playing conventional strokes. He's so deadly accurate that even the slightest misjudgement can mean curtains for the batsman. Given that scoop/ramp shots are pretty much always premeditated and the fact that Buttler generally exposes at least one stump when he plays them, Malinga's yorkers, particularly the slower ones, would be very hard to play. Even if you do make good contact, the lower trajectory means that the ball will bounce lower off the bat and, as MJ says, could lead to injury.

  • Cyril_Knight on June 11, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Buttler is a strange cricketer. I have enjoyed a chat or two with him and he has so much belief in his style and his shots. He will try to reverse ramp Malinga if he faces him, I've not doubt. He will probably get out doing a "daft" shot, but he is entertaining and certainly has the potential to keep entertaining us for a long time.

    But please Giles take the gloves off him. His footwork is terrible and it is only by fluke that his keeping has not been shown up for what it is yet. Although Matthew Prior also had problems with his footwork and managed to rectify it, Buttler doesn't keep everyday for Somerset. Although England could force Somerset to make him keep again...

  • latecut_04 on June 13, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Leave Malinga alone for Heaven's sake.He may not be able to replicate efforts against Kiwis everytime.Ofcourse plans need to be made about how to counter him but that is different.Need of the hour for SL is other bowlers lifting their performance and Kulasekhaa gettiing a game.Othrwise minus Maling magic they wont stand a chance against English methd and discipline especially bowling

  • on June 13, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    It is good for the game.having contest between bat and ball. I recon it is a respect to the great bowler. Butler has his own mind set and strategy over the tough bowler GOOD LUCK TO HIM and looking forward to the contest

  • rmaganti on June 13, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    I think they should ban all shots that are not conventional. Reverse sweep, switch hit and anything which is not in the purists book. These shots are a disgrace to cricket.

  • JG2704 on June 13, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @Partyman on (June 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT) Maybe Jos should not do any interviews as folk put 2 and 2 together to make 5 on these boards. He was asked questions and answered them honestly. He has not said anything disrespectful re LM but is not going to say stuff like "Oh no I think I'll just block him" Also would you not say that he was under some sort of pressure to score very fast runs in the 3rd ODI vs NZ when the batsmen before him scored at a pedestrian pace and vs India he and Morgan saw the side home to a last ball T20 win?

  • Partyman on June 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Jos Buttler needs to be keep quiet and let his bat do the talking. A couple of knocks in not so pressure situations, and all of a sudden he is talking himself up! I thought he was a genteel West country lad, not a obnoxious type. You come up with a substantial knock on Thursday, I will bow to you. But in due course he will realise these kind of words come back to bite you sooner rather than later. Ask Warner what happened to him last summer after vowing to take on Swann! He barely lasted when Swann came on to bowl! Having said that, I sincerely hope Buttler puts one over the Sri Lankans come Thursday.

  • jb633 on June 12, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @Trickstar- i bow down to your superior knowledge. So exactly how many ODI tournaments have we won playing with this conservative approach? The approach is good against average sides with wafer thin batting but do you really think we will beat India and South Africa by setting them 250 on a decent wicket? India are the team to beat and are leading the way with their method. The pitches are getting lower and slower as the games go on and they have wisely realized that with no seam movement they can target the first 10 overs and maximize their scoring whilst the ball is hard and coming on to the bat. Against Aus the approach was fine because they didn't have any spinners and could not utilize the slow nature to the extent that say Pakistan did against SA. I like Trott as a cricketer but think we need to adapt to the surfaces we are producing and stop leaving all the hitting to a 15 over period.

  • shillingsworth on June 12, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @PrasadGunawardane - Buttler gave due credit to Malinga but he's hardly going to talk down his own chances ahead of a match is he? Given the choice, he'd probably prefer to talk after the match but that's outside his control. I see nothing boastful, let alone ridiculous in his comments. @samincolumbia - You seem to have missed the point. Ugly it may be but the skills required to execute it are indeed extraordinary. Try it yourself and see how you get on.

  • cabinet96 on June 12, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    Have to love the people who talk about Buttler's hype being generated from one innings. Maybe County Cricket really is dying, because a lot of people don't seem to watch it.

  • CrickFan82 on June 12, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    Malinga is a champion bowler and Butler is very exciting batsman compared to the traditionally technically correct batsman England have produced. It should be a nice contest, looking forward to it.

  • andrew27994 on June 12, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Perhaps Buttler might just be playing mind games with the opposition. I think he will probably try to take Malinga off his line and length by moving around the crease but I don't see him going for the ramp shots unless it's the last over or something. Malinga has gotten exposed in the recent IPL by Yagnik and Hodge just by simply moving all around the pitch.

  • PrasadGunawardane on June 12, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    This is ridiculous and see loads of stupidity of talking/predicting somebody's own talent against another talented guy's main strength.. If Butler wants, he must try and then he must express all in the coming post match press conference.. The reason is, Malinga has been bowling in International Cricket for 9 years against many great batsmen and simply he has won against almost all of them,, That's why Malinga is regarded as one the greatest and crafty bowlers ever born in the history of Cricket; particularly in limited over format! So Joss Butler is like a kid among all of them.. So if Butler has a confident and talent on him, he must first try out and show to the world first up against Malinga,, After that only, he can speak.. This is like boasting after he has done something well against Kiwi mainly both away from home and at home!

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    @landl47 - May I ask if you've actually seen Jos play for Somerset - or just for England? Even for England , the ramp shots get highlighted basically because he's one of the few who can play it. I think in that 47 he only played it 2 or 3 times and it's not used as a trick shot , it's used because he sees that's where the fielders aren't. I've seen him build inns before (coming in earlier than expected for Somerset) and bat conventionally. In fact , if you look at his most recent TV performance for Somerset vs Yorks in the YB40 you'll see it for yourself. I'd prefer a faster scorer up front and would probably rotate Trott and Bell if/when KP returns but I can see the merrits. But there are examples - such as the 3rd ODI vs NZ when the laboured scoring at the start wouldn't counted for anything without guys like Morgan and Jos scoring at an unrealistic rate. My main gripe is that Jos will be typecast as an end of inns slogger and he's better than that

  • Harlequin. on June 12, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    @JG - true, and even then we may have better options behind the pegs - you can get away with mediocre keeping skills in limited overs but he might be exposed at test level

  • samincolumbia on June 12, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    What an ugly cricketing shot! I have no idea why it's being promoted as something extraordinary.

  • on June 12, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    there is a 99 percent probability Buttler will have to retire hurt or out if he tries to Dilscoop Malinga's lethal yorkers

  • on June 12, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    how come no one talk about dilshan he is the star of scoop

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on June 12, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Oh come on Butler!! You don't need scoops to play malinga.. Just take a few tips from Virat Kohli on how to hit him all round the park..we've seen plenty of that!!

  • landl47 on June 12, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    @JG2704: you're getting too defensive here. What I said was that he must avoid relying on tricks; the article does nothing but hype his ability to play circus shots. Hopefully he has people talking to him about playing fundamentally sound cricket first and adding the fancy stuff as a bonus occasionally.

    I'm sorry, but you and I don't agree about how this Eng side must play. I acknowledge that Eng aren't going to make 300+ very often, but with a good bowling attack that's not necessary. What they must avoid is being skittled for 150-200 and the way to avoid that is put the innings-builders in first.

    When KP comes back or when other players develop the ability to play big innings quickly on a regular basis, then the game plan changes. At this time, Buttler hasn't shown that he can do that (his List A average is bloated by more than 1/3rd of his innings being not out). His role for now is to make quick runs at the end of the innings and he'll do that best by proper cricket shots.

  • on June 12, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Dear Butler.. There's a Guy Called Kevin Petersen Played against Malinga Several Times & He is a Legendary Player He Even Troubled with Malinga's Lethal Yorkers @ Time.. Remember the Gall Test 2009 or 10... You Just a HYPED Batsman Only!!

  • ScottStevo on June 12, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @marts30, Exactly - the guy has had maybe one decent ODI innings and a couple in T20 and he's the next big thing in English cricket. Gimme a break...

  • marts30 on June 12, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    10 ODI's he averages 14... jumping the gun. Can be outstanding but unless he can do it regularly it won't mean much. Gets out early a lot.

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    @Dark_Harlequin on (June 12, 2013, 7:48 GMT)He shouldn't even be thought about as a test WK batsman until he shows form over a period of time in the longer format.

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    @Munkeymomo on (June 11, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

    - Hey , have you heard any more re Craig's return to action?

    I'm guessing you've heard more about the situation that me. I was thinking/hoping that both Craig and Jos were accepting of the situation of Jos keeping in shorter formats etc.

    If push came to shove it would be an extremely tough call. I think if I was in Somerset's position , I'd be tempted to look after Craig's needs primarily. It would be a gamble but Jos is born and bred in Somerset (so my hunch is that he has more ties with Somerset as a place as much as the club) and also , if Jos is seen as the future of shorter formats for England (and even possibly tests - though he'd need to improve his longer format game) then he could be missing for much of the season and Somerset would just become a place where he is used by Eng for practice. As great as Jos is , I'd prefer a player who'll play the majority of matches for Somerset.

  • Abdullahfahd on June 12, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Oh whatever it is Sachithra Senanayake should play the game...

  • DVSK on June 12, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Hats off to him if he pulls it off against malinga but I doubt he'll be able to.

  • satishchandar on June 12, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    As much as Buttler loves ramp shot, he hits them very good straight down the ground too by going deep into the crease.. If he can pick Malinga's slow balls, he can certainly back his strength and clear the straight boundary.. I am not ruling out Malinga too.. Buttler is exciting to watch..

  • hotcric01 on June 12, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Go deep into the crease and play with the back foot.You can take yorker as a half volley or low full toss and you can hit it straight or flick over the midwicket.Yorker is only a yorker if batsman doesn't move at the crease.Iif he comes down the track or go deep into the crease it becomes a half volley or low full toss.But fast foot movement is important and you also have to judge the pace of the ball.

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Can't see him doing it against Mallinga and TBH the likelihood is that he'll come in too late and not have found his rhythm before Mallinga gets him. England will do the same as usual and it might work but if a batsman is going to score runs of Mallinga at the end he needs to be set

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    @Trickstar on (June 12, 2013, 3:19 GMT) TBH , I agree to a degree with JB and TBH I'm not sure how many ODI sides would want Trott in their side - or at least not Trott,Cook and Bell at the top. If you look at India - every one of their batsmen looks capable of big scores at over a run a ball and although Trott scored at about a run a ball vs NZ the other day , a side with Bell,Cook and Trott at the top are never likely to chase scores much north of 300. I'm not so much against Trott being in the side or even having that top 3 with Root at 4 but I think our team is so regimented and Buttler (who is our most dangerous batsman) needs more time at the crease otherwise he'll unlikely show any sort of consistency for England.

  • on June 12, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    So then Mind Games Began!! Butler Beware of Malinga, He is not a Bowler Like Dernbach who practice for you... Malinga is a Lethal!!

  • JG2704 on June 12, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @landl47 - Don't think Dernbach has done anything like the bowling equivalent of scoring 47 off 16 although he might have gone for similar in England colours.And let's not forget that (despite the fortune he had) in that 47 inns , had the final shot of the inns been slightly harder hit he'd have had the fastest ODI 50 ever. You've obviously not watched him play for Somerset in 40 over cricket or T20 for that matter and obviously didn't notice that in his 2 other quickfire not out inns vs SA and India he was also playing plenty of shots for 6 straight down the ground. He averages 52 in A list cricket with a SR of 123 which surely shows he has a consistency about him. However I'm not sure he'll do it for England as they're not giving him time at the crease and he feels he has to play these shots from as soon as he gets in as he feels that's his role and he'll probably develop that mindset.Sad that another talent will probably be wasted because of Eng's shortsightedness

  • ajithabey on June 12, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Hopefully SL will get their combination right for this crucial game. My team is Dilshan,Mahela,Sanga,Chandimal,Mathews,Jeevan,Kula,Malinga,Rangana,Sachithra, Eranga as I believe from the matches seen so far you need a good balance in the bowling dept. Good luck SL for a winning performance this time around.

  • the_sport on June 12, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    any animation for malinga-yorker delivery and buttler scooping it? You know that Malinga balls 3-4 yorkers in his over and if he decides he can go for 6 yorkers per over with varying speed.

  • Harlequin. on June 12, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Agree with jmcilhinney - the low trajectory makes the scoop shot a very low percentage one, and I hope Buttler doesn't try playing it just to prove a point.

    And to those wondering what the fuss about Buttler is after just one innings. He has done this sort of thing in T20s and for Somerset - he is a huge talent, but does need a bit of work to get him test standard.

  • partyanimal on June 12, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    England easily beat Srilanka,no doubt on that.

  • yorkslanka on June 12, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Personally I think we will have to bring our top game to beat England at home.i think that considering the match is at the oval,we should play two spinners, rangana and jeevan mendis. Whilst I think satchi is a good player, jeevan brings more batting to the team. Chandimal needs to perform otherwise thirrimanne can take his place.my team ( & batting order) would be: 1. Kushal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4. Chandimal 5. Mahela 6. Mathews 7.jeevan 8. Thisara 9. Rangana 10. Eranga 11. Malinga Tough call on kula but Eranga is less familiar to England and can bring some seam movement. Good luck Sri Lanka and hopefully we will play to our potential this game.

  • jmcilhinney on June 12, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    @niroopbhat on (June 12, 2013, 4:32 GMT), Buttler hasn't bragged about anything before any innings. Can you not see the difference between media talking him up and his talking himself up? There has been plenty of buzz about him before that innings anyway, in part because of his 30 off 10 or whatever it was against SA last summer. He certainly still has plenty to prove at international level but England fans have seen him do wonderful things at domestic level and to see glimpses of what could be at international level is quite moth-watering. People like you keep complaining that he is hyped up after one innings but it is based on far more than that. Domestic cricket doesn't cease to exist when someone makes an international team. The thing about Buttler is that he can play proper cricket shots but he has an array of other weapons too. Anyone who claims that every shot he hit in that 47* against NZ was a hoick was obviously not watching it.

  • Ruban_Varathan on June 12, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    SL should play to their brand of cricket....i didnt see it against NZ on the previous day...If SL need to win against ENG then they need to bat well and to put some fightable score on the board.....Then SL need to drop #THIRIMANE and need to include #KULASEKARA in the team....Bcoz they dont need 8 batsmen(including perera).....chandimal is wasting opportunities, i havnt seen any good performance from him after his CB series in AUS....He is an over hyped player....I think kusal is better at times than chandimal....My Eleven for SL ahainst ENG:-Dilshan, Kusal, Sanga, Mahela, chandimal, Mathews, Perera, Kulasekara, Herath, Malinga, Eranga......Chandimal need to bat well in the nxt match against #ENG or else he should be dropped...

  • Narabavi on June 12, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    I saw only Brendon McCullum tried dilscoop shot against Malinga & the result was, he lost his middle & leg stumps ! (MI vs Kochi IPL game)

  • stormy16 on June 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    The most interesting aspect of this read is the apprent acceptance of unorthodoxy in to English cricket. Playing the 'straight bat' I guess hasnt really got the desired results! Ok Butler is something interesting and a long way to go but he certainly brings something new and different from England. Also worth considering that the Indians have worked out Malinga without too many scoops and reverse swivels ETC. Dont think I have ever seen Dhoni or Kholi play any of these strange shots to Malinga. I note a few comments that Butler is new and has had only one success but I think the point is this is a big deal for English cricket - playing it differently and may be the begining of change. I must say in as much as I marvel at the guys play a reverse paddle there really nothing to beat a proper cricket shot - much like Cook or Mahela would play. I saw Amla attemtping a reverse shot the other day and it just wasnt right - guys like that must just play normal shots.

  • on June 12, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    It's called the Dilscoop, grow up!

  • niroopbhat on June 12, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Have to agree with Prem here. Jos looks a great prospect for England as he is young and can replace Matt Prior in all forms if he can develop his keeping abilities. But for a batsmen, he just cant rely on these scoops if he is to survive in international cricket. So much hype is being created on just one innings in which all the ultra risk shots came off. If he is to develop into a good batsmen then he has to work on proper cricketing shots rather than brag on that one innings before every match he plays.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on June 12, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    Some youngsters who never performs and some aged oldies with lot of burden in their folder is the current situation of SL team. Even a club level team captain will be more enthusiast than Mathews. How long Sanga and Mahela can do bulk of the scoring? Malinga is so ordinary against teams like India and extra ordinary against teams who can't bat. I think this will be the end of SL in CT.

  • pulkit10 on June 12, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Not a very surprising article. Usually, the trend, at least for English cricketers, these days seems to be hype after playing one good innings and then dismay when the player doesn't come through. Alaistar Cook has been the sole exception to this rule...he has countless fan-boyish articles written about him and he justifies all of the praise by playing one great knock after the other. Not so much for the rest of the team.

    Instead of hyping players who haven't really proved anything, perhaps more time could be devoted to praising players like Trott, Prior or Anderson - players who have been instrumental to the teams great showing for the past few years. Instead, the focus is on finding the next "exciting prospect"...someone who can smash a whirlwind innings or someone who has so many variations (Dernbach). This takes away from the fundamentals of what makes one a good player. Let the man speak for himself...one good innings doesn't mean anything. Let him perform for the next 5 years.

  • on June 12, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    Jos Butler is just another Glen Maxwell. You can not succeed as a batsman just by playing scoops, river sweeps and paddles to every delivery. He needs to forget about being too clever and develop sensibly as a cricketer. Highly overrated at this point of his career.

  • sydneysider1 on June 12, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    Jos Buttler 10 ODI's and only 102 runs highest score 47. Just hype….

    SL all the way…

  • SLSup on June 12, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Butler's innings against NZ is much-ado-about-nothing. I watched it and not one decent ball was bowled at him - not one good shot where Butler made something out of nothing. It was lousy bowling at the death to someone who was given just the right length and width to make his hits. Dilshan plays these scoops well but it is sad to see how the likes of Butler and AB De Villiers bring the standards of cricketing shots down with their histrionics. De Villiers was ridiculously silly at IPL. Agricultural at best; butchering at worse. In some ways the game has evolved. In other ways it has devolved.

  • Nuwas on June 12, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    Who knows what would happen if he tries! so we'll just wait & see. & what if he gets out the second ball as it happened to b Faulkner the other day before facing malinger ! so many questions arising on my mind, yet have to wait&see. from my experience , one advice for Butler: "don't speak your mind if you can't put it into action" see what's happened to most of senior SL cricketers ??? ENG might wanna offer a seaming pitch to SL for this match considering NZvsAUS game today, but they might wanna rethink over it, because they sure don't wanna face Kula with two new balls under seaming&swinging conditions. On the other hand they cant afford to give NZ such pitch as well. I'm pretty sure both ENG & SL must be praying AUS to win today's game for some sort of comfort on both sides :D so its 3 against 1 team today on the part of prayers & wishes :P

  • Trickstar on June 12, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    @jb633 It's hardly one innings though is it, he's done it a few times for England in the T20, add that to his spectacular List A record & you can see why the guy gets talked about.

    As for picking Trott as being some kind a problem, I think nearly all the other sides in the Comp wold love Trott in their side. This past year he averages 79 @ strike rate 84, if you think that's a problem you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Bell averages 53 @ a s/r of 78 very good again. We've seen time & time again that you don't need 300 or anywhere near to win games. What you need is a good set of consistent batsmen and a good bowling attack and England have certainly got that and we play to OUR strengths. All this talk of big hitters and playing like Gayle, I mean seriously do these people actually watch the one day game. Gayle has been rubbish in one day cricket and averages mid 20's the past year. How many times as you're scenario happened exactly? needing 10 rpo for the last 15.

  • kevepere on June 12, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    1. Kusal 2. Mahela 3. Chandimal 4. Sanga 5. Dilshan 6. Thirimanne 7. Thisara 8. Sachithra 9. Herath 10. NKule 11. Malinga If Mathews goes out from the team it would be better. 3 Fast bowlers, 3 spinners including dilshan... 6 batsman and 1 all rounder. Mahela needs to come on top.

  • on June 12, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Another sparkling story, but has butler really proved himself in the arena? I doubt one inning can really tell the true mental of a batsmen, yes he can say he is going to do this and that but would it be wise to make him sound like a superstar ?

    True Malinga has lost his prowess during the last 2 years or so but he is lethal, he can be a demon of a bowler and i bet he can get in that toe crusher to show butler what his pace and sting is made of.

    Hope it will be a thriller and that Mahelas words come true!

  • on June 12, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    @Haiderpakawsome

    Why not talk about the pathetic batting of ur own country men..Even Ireland is a better batting unit that urs.

  • jmcilhinney on June 12, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    There's been plenty of talk about England's policy of building a platform, keeping wickets in hand and then scoring quickly at the end. There has also been plenty of criticism of that policy, some of it from me. It's worth noting that England scored quite quickly at the start and end of their innings against Australia and still only made 269, which is a good score but far from huge. Against SL, more than any other team, I think that it's important that England maintain a good run rate through the middle overs. That's because Malinga in particular could be very hard to score off. Even if he does well, there's almost no chance that Buttler could score 47 off 16 with Malinga bowling at the death, so England need to make sure that they don't leave themselves too much to do. It will depend on conditions but I would think that England would like to bowl first and hopefully see the SL batting wobble and then have to chase a modest total. NZ can attest that that's still no guarantee though.

  • landl47 on June 12, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    What Buttler must avoid is turning into another Dernbach- relying on tricks rather than basic technique. Dernbach failed, to the apparent bewilderment of the England selectors, because he can't bowl line and length. International players soon work out that, if the fundamentals aren't there, all they have to do is wait for the garbage. Buttler must work on playing good cricket shots 95% of the time. One trick shot every 3 or 4 overs will keep the fielding side guessing. 3 or 4 trick shots an over will get him out for a lot of low scores. His 47*, good though it was, is the only decent score he's made in the last 4 ODIs. I'd rather see him making ODI 30s consistently from #6 or 7 than one brilliant knock and a bunch of failures. He's got the talent, it's the mental game he must work on.

    As for scooping Malinga, forget it. The least scoopable bowler in all cricket.

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    I am Sri lankan, i Extremely love my country and as well as the Sri Lankan Cricket. Kumar Sangakkara is my favorite. Now Sri Lankan Cricket has become a sinking ship due to unscrupulous Administrators and Politicians.Surely Angelo is good promising all rounder though ain't made for lead a team like mahela or sangakkara. We are surely a talented team though we are not gonna make the semis this time.

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    It will be the end of England.. SL and NZ going through to the semis...

  • Jaffa79 on June 12, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Buttler strikes me as a kind of hit and miss cricketer; when he comes off, he will look spectacular but his career will be littered with low scores. He is dangerous and I hope England persevere with him! He has plenty of competition too, what with Prior (even though his ODI record is strangely dismal), Davies (incredibly unlucky - he could be the tonic to the plodding top 3), Bairstow and even people like Mustard and Foakes would do a decent job. An embarrassment of riches!

  • on June 11, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Hope England get beaten badly!

  • Haider-pak-awsome on June 11, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    It doesn't matter if SL bats first or second. With the mediocre batting strength, I don't see they reach anything more than 150. I can predict 9 or 10 wicket victory for England, if they are batting 2nd. I can't imagine the amount of runs Eng would score if they are batting first. However 350 plus would be an easy total when they are facing such an ordinary attack of SL. It would be fun to watch the assault of so called "SLINGA"… lol

  • Lmaotsetung on June 11, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Bairstow and Butler...the two Bs, vying for the role of Matt Prior's successor. Eng wk/batsman stock looks good for the next 10 years!

  • MH19 on June 11, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    If we are to win the team is 1.Dilshan2.Kushal3.Sanga4.Chandimal5.Thirimanne6.Mathews7.Thisra8.Senanayake9.Eranga10.Herath 11.Malinga Sorry Jayawardena will have to sit out on current form its not about expirience its about now winning or leave the tournament.

  • Munkeymomo on June 11, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    As a somerset fan I would hate to lose Jos or Kiesy. Sounding more and more like one will leave though. Tough call.

  • Nutcutlet on June 11, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Mahela talks sense, as ever. IMO, Buttler would be well advised to save his trickery for the other bowlers. I hope that if there is a face-off then Buttler plays orthodox shots to the slingy Malinga yorkers. I'm surprised no one has attempted batting outside the crease to him. That would be an interesting spectacle & the further down the wicket a batsman is the less likely the ump will be persuaded to give lbws. It should be a great match & it's likely to be close, I think.

  • jb633 on June 11, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Here we go again, overhyping one innings. I don't really hold high hopes for this ODI side. I want us to be more pro active but I think that is very wishful thinking with Trott at 3. I would like us to go left field and maybe put Morgan up to 3 and give him longer to bat and hopefully some of the pressure that constantly gets lumped on the middle/lower order when they are required to go at 10 an over for the last 15 and not get out.

  • jb633 on June 11, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Here we go again, overhyping one innings. I don't really hold high hopes for this ODI side. I want us to be more pro active but I think that is very wishful thinking with Trott at 3. I would like us to go left field and maybe put Morgan up to 3 and give him longer to bat and hopefully some of the pressure that constantly gets lumped on the middle/lower order when they are required to go at 10 an over for the last 15 and not get out.

  • Nutcutlet on June 11, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    Mahela talks sense, as ever. IMO, Buttler would be well advised to save his trickery for the other bowlers. I hope that if there is a face-off then Buttler plays orthodox shots to the slingy Malinga yorkers. I'm surprised no one has attempted batting outside the crease to him. That would be an interesting spectacle & the further down the wicket a batsman is the less likely the ump will be persuaded to give lbws. It should be a great match & it's likely to be close, I think.

  • Munkeymomo on June 11, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    As a somerset fan I would hate to lose Jos or Kiesy. Sounding more and more like one will leave though. Tough call.

  • MH19 on June 11, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    If we are to win the team is 1.Dilshan2.Kushal3.Sanga4.Chandimal5.Thirimanne6.Mathews7.Thisra8.Senanayake9.Eranga10.Herath 11.Malinga Sorry Jayawardena will have to sit out on current form its not about expirience its about now winning or leave the tournament.

  • Lmaotsetung on June 11, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Bairstow and Butler...the two Bs, vying for the role of Matt Prior's successor. Eng wk/batsman stock looks good for the next 10 years!

  • Haider-pak-awsome on June 11, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    It doesn't matter if SL bats first or second. With the mediocre batting strength, I don't see they reach anything more than 150. I can predict 9 or 10 wicket victory for England, if they are batting 2nd. I can't imagine the amount of runs Eng would score if they are batting first. However 350 plus would be an easy total when they are facing such an ordinary attack of SL. It would be fun to watch the assault of so called "SLINGA"… lol

  • on June 11, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Hope England get beaten badly!

  • Jaffa79 on June 12, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Buttler strikes me as a kind of hit and miss cricketer; when he comes off, he will look spectacular but his career will be littered with low scores. He is dangerous and I hope England persevere with him! He has plenty of competition too, what with Prior (even though his ODI record is strangely dismal), Davies (incredibly unlucky - he could be the tonic to the plodding top 3), Bairstow and even people like Mustard and Foakes would do a decent job. An embarrassment of riches!

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    It will be the end of England.. SL and NZ going through to the semis...

  • on June 12, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    I am Sri lankan, i Extremely love my country and as well as the Sri Lankan Cricket. Kumar Sangakkara is my favorite. Now Sri Lankan Cricket has become a sinking ship due to unscrupulous Administrators and Politicians.Surely Angelo is good promising all rounder though ain't made for lead a team like mahela or sangakkara. We are surely a talented team though we are not gonna make the semis this time.