New Zealand XI v England XI, T20 warm-up, Whangarei

Buttler ready with bat and gloves

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 5, 2013

Comments: 7 | Text size: A | A

Jos Buttler acknowledges reaching his fifty, New Zealand XI v England XI, Twenty20, Whangarei, February 5, 2013
Jos Buttler made his first half-century in an England shirt during the T20 warm-up match © AFP
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Jos Buttler was delighted with his first half-century in an England shirt during a comfortable win in their tour match against a New Zealand. Buttler is set to take the gloves for England in the T20 series, and possibly in ODIs too, but it was with the bat that he made the most impression in Whangarei, smashing an unbeaten 57 from 24 balls.

With Craig Kieswetter dropping out of both limited-overs squads, England have Buttler and Jonny Bairstow to choose from behind the stumps. Bairstow keeps regularly for Yorkshire, while Buttler is Kieswetter's deputy at Somerset, but Buttler stepped up in place of his county team-mate during England's tour of India. Bairstow missed the T20 and ODI series against India due to a family illness and is likely to return to the side solely as a batsman, for the time being.

"It's something I've been working really hard on," Buttler said of his wicketkeeping. "It's great to get this opportunity to do it. I think I'm going to take the gloves for the series ... definitely for the Twenty20s, so that's what I'm concentrating on at the minute. I'm really excited about it, and today's a good start. It's great to know that's what's happening. I can really put my mind on it, and work hard in training on it."

Buttler described reaching his half-century, with six fours and three sixes, as a "proud moment", adding: "I better not get too far ahead of myself - tomorrow is another day. But I'm looking forward to the series."

Despite losing both openers with less than 50 on the board, England powered their way to an imposing 186 with some explosive hitting from the middle-order. The fast bowlers then chipped away at the New Zealand XI line-up, with three wickets apiece for Chris Woakes, Jade Dernbach and captain, Stuart Broad, who claimed a hat-trick.

"It was great to get our first win, and obviously it was a really good all-round performance from everyone," Buttler said. "I think as a blueprint for a batting plan, it was perfect. Wickets in hand at the end allow people to come in, as I did today, and score freely at the end.

"It was testament to the guys ahead of me. They realised it was a bit of hard work and, instead of playing any rash shots, they got through that hard period and built a brilliant position for me to come in at the end. It's the perfect way to set up a Twenty20 innings, for that explosive finish. With people like Jonny [Bairstow] and Samit [Patel] to come in, there's a lot of power. So it gives us that licence to be really aggressive."

Broad's hitch-free comeback from injury was another positive for England and Buttler was on hand to take the catch for his third wicket in as many balls. "It probably just sits behind his Test match hat-trick but I'm sure he really enjoyed it," Buttler said, referring to Broad's achievement against India at Trent Bridge in 2011. "It's great to have him back and bowling really well. A hat-trick is a great moment in any form of cricket."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by NickeyT on (February 6, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

This England T20 team is very promising. If only they chose Woakes & Root instead of Dernbach & Bairstow... Dernbach continues to be very expensive, and Bairstow is a Test cricketer, not T20...

Posted by Trickstar on (February 6, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

@ jmcilhinney Yes I don't think there's no doubt about when KP comes back into the side Buttler will be the man. I've just watched this latest innings today and the guy is an absolute freak show. He can hit everywhere and it just puts so much pressure on the bowlers especially the shots behind the keeper which he's got a few of them. Not only that he's so strong down the ground & over cover, he's also so very wristy the way he manipulates the ball. Even as a Yorkie, Bairstow's format isn't one day cricket, it may be one day but he's a far better first class cricketer atm. Got to say having both Morgan & Buttler down the order gives England an added dimension in the finishing department especially now Jos looks to have found his feet somewhat. It will be quite a batting line up with KP there as well and obviously Swann for the bowling.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (February 5, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

From what I saw of Buttler's keeping in India it was very good, most notably standing up to the stumps, which is something England keepers probably get less practice at than most. No doubt England would like to win as many T20 games as possible but it is definitely the least important of the three formats, so it's a great place for a new(ish) keeper to cut their teeth. More interesting will be to see who takes the gloves for the ODIs. With KP not in the squad, quite possibly Buttler and Bairstow will both play. With KP back in the squad it is most likely that one of the two will miss out. Assuming no great disparity in their batting performances, whoever is the preferred keeper will presumably get the nod.

Posted by JG2704 on (February 5, 2013, 18:00 GMT)

@SamuelH on (February 5, 2013, 15:43 GMT) Personally , I think the best T20 WK would be Foster. But as he's out of the picture , it seems to be between Craig,Jonny and Jos. I'd say Jos is the best T20 batsman of the 3 - has more improvisation/variety about his game. I don't think Jonny regularly keeps wkt at Yorks either and didn't look totally convincing when I saw him with the gloves either. Craig is a regular WK but I don't think it always shows

Posted by TurningSquare on (February 5, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Randy (Great name by the way) hah! Buttler is an incredible talent I can't wait until he has the opportunity to demolish your 'new wave' T20 bowlers, wow some real finds here: ben laughlin, xavier doherty, james faulkner or perhaps the wonder kid Maxwell? x

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 5, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

A quick look at his recent matches gives you a fair indication that for a guy like this to get in the side, the talent must be woefully thin in England.

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