England in South Africa 2015-16 January 29, 2016

Buttler sets out stall for IPL deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jos Buttler during a wicketkeeping drill on the eve of England's warm-up in Kimberley © Getty Images

Jos Buttler has set his sights on a stint in this year's Indian Premier League after losing his place in the England Test team to Jonny Bairstow.

After carrying the drinks throughout England's 2-1 Test series win over South Africa, Buttler will return to centre stage next week as the ODI and T20 section of the campaign gets underway.

However, Bairstow's success in the Test series - he scored 359 runs at 71.80 in four matches and took 19 catches, albeit with some high-profile blemishes - looks to have earned him a lengthy run in the side, which means that Buttler's immediate future lies as a white-ball specialist.

His last England performance underlined just how well attuned his game currently is to the shorter formats and, with the World Twenty20 looming in India in just over a month's time, his abilities could be a key attribute of England's bid to win back the trophy that they won for the first, and only, time in 2010.

After limping to a top score of 42 in 12 Test innings since the start of the Ashes in July, Buttler slammed an incredible 46-ball hundred in the final ODI against Pakistan in Dubai, a performance that is sure to have piqued the interest of the IPL franchises when his name goes under the hammer at the auction on February 6.

Buttler has been given the full blessing of the ECB to put his name forward for this year's IPL, which runs from April 8 to May 24, despite the fact that it would potentially rule him out of five early-season Championship fixtures for Lancashire.

"Obviously Jonny has done fantastically well in the Test series, so he is going to be in that side for a while," Buttler said. "[ECB director] Andrew Strauss is keen to get guys playing in these overseas tournaments, [and] for me it seems the right decision at this time.

"As an English player it is always quite complicated fitting it in. But this was a great window for me to try it out and with the players around you, you'd think you can learn not just about Twenty20 but all cricket."

Buttler will enter in the second tier of the auction, and is understood to be a significant target for Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise that was formerly coached by Buttler's England coach, Trevor Bayliss.

"You're a piece of meat in an auction, aren't you?" Buttler said. "There are no guarantees of getting a franchise, but it's a competition I would love to be part of."

Buttler is still adamant, however, that he has not given up on the dream of forging a successful Test career, and says that the experience of playing in a winning Ashes team has whetted his appetite for the oldest form of the game.

"There is an increased emphasis on one-day cricket," he said. "However, I think an English player still feels Test cricket is the pinnacle and I don't feel ready to throw my towel in on red-ball cricket yet.

"Having experienced an Ashes series, although personally I didn't do very well, the emotions and feelings of winning Test matches isn't rivalled by Twenty20 or one-dayers just yet.

"If we won the World Cup, I am sure it would be completely different."

England's preparations for the one-day series step up a notch when they take on South Africa A in a 50-over warm-up in Kimberley on Saturday, for whom Marchant de Lange has been called up in place of the injured Wayne Parnell.

However, England have chosen to rest four of the players who took part in last week's fourth Test in Centurion - Stuart Broad, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes, whose Man-of-the-Series-winning exploits had been an "eye-opener' for Buttler.

"As a peer of his [Stokes], someone I grew up with, it gives you added motivation and belief you can do it," Buttler said. "All the talk from Trevor Bayliss is that, if that is the way you want to play, it is the way to play in all forms these days.

"I think I have learnt a lot from watching, it proves there is no one way to bat in Test cricket - and whatever way you do, do it your way. If you are going to fail, do it on your own terms."

England XI (possible) Alex Hales, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Eoin Morgan (capt), Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Reece Topley.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 2, 2016, 10:17 GMT

    @SPENG ON FEBRUARY 1, 2016, 14:08 GMT - Not sure re injuries , I think it's more a case of burnout. However we seem to overlook resting Ali. He seems to play pretty much every game in every format. I think there are players who have had several series off while Ali doesn't seem to get rested at all and as also seen as the sole spinner (most of the time) coupled with batting his workload may even be the highest in the side

  • Clifford on February 1, 2016, 14:08 GMT

    I'm surprised ENG are resting Root and Stokes for the ODIs considering SA are strong competition. Are they managing injuries? I'd've thought Woakes would be on the squad too. Possible team looks pretty good though

  • John on February 1, 2016, 11:49 GMT

    @STEVEN SWAIN ON JANUARY 31, 2016, 10:04 GMT - I'd feel the same way if I was a Lancs fan but when he was at Somerset I was always interested to see how he'd do in IPL but obviously would not have wanted him to miss any games for Somerset. England basically encouraged him away from Somerset and Lancs were the benificiaries. It's funny how things turn around. But look on the bright side , if it wasn't for England he'd still be at Somerset and if he was still the 1st choice WK for Eng he'd probably play very few games for you anyway. I reckon he'll play more games for you by playing IPL and than he would have done if he was still Eng's WK

  • Dean on February 1, 2016, 10:55 GMT

    @DSA, I'm not convinced the ECB would recall Buttler if Bairstow got injured. Bayliss in particular seems pretty keen for Buttler to play IPL & the fact that there is a more than credible alternative available in Foakes (Eng Lions Keeper who ave 51 in CC Div 1 last year) should mean there's no need for him to be recalled should the worst happen. I suspect if Buttler does get his IPL deal & Foakes starts the season well then he will probably be seen as the understudy for Bairstow in test cricket for the summer & quite possibly the winter tours too. Buttler may well find that his role for Eng in the immediate future will be strictly for ltd overs cricket.

  • John on February 1, 2016, 8:38 GMT

    @POPEGREGORYIX ON JANUARY 30, 2016, 15:25 GMT - Fair enough. For some reason he doesn't seem to have done so well in T20 compared to 50 over cricket. I was surprised myself he goes at near 8

  • Jeff on January 31, 2016, 22:06 GMT

    100000 brick for Jordan? Theres only 2 bowlers in England that have a slight hope of getting picked by an IPL team as a 4th reserve bowler if they were available, Finn and Broad, and even them two would only get a deal at 30000 brick max. Buttler and KP will probably get deals, the others have almost no chance at them prices.

  • Peter on January 31, 2016, 20:47 GMT

    @IANS48 - Appreciate your point and it's really well made with regard to Essex. I think it depends on your point of view as to whether the counties are entities in themselves or effectively feeder clubs for the ECB. How many counties could survive financially without the ECB money supporting them? I think it is very few. I think I'm correct in saying that Warwickshire (back in the day) were able (because they owned a pools company) to lend Essex the money to buy Chelmsford. Warwickshire are now massively indebted to Birmingham City Council. The point I'm making (eventually) is this - when County 4 day games are watched by three men and a dog - but T20 gates and 50 over games pay the bills - why not let your players excel at the shorter formats, because they'll win games and add gate revenues by getting your county sides into the sharp end of the shorter format tournaments? I see your frustration - I just don't agree with denying players the opportunity when it can be win/win....

  • Peter on January 31, 2016, 15:46 GMT

    @Indianbarcafan - Thanks - yours is a good point about the conditions too. I know where I'd rather be in April!

  • Ian on January 31, 2016, 14:03 GMT

    @ STEVEN SWAIN Accepting the contractual point made by POPEGREGORY, I share your frustration at seeing one of your best players making himself unavailable for almost half the CC season. Essex have been blighted in this way for several years losing Napier, then Doeschate and Bopara to the IPL. I have sympathy for the players since even a fringe player can pick up $100k for a few weeks work. If they have a county contract, I think they pay 10% back to their county but it's scant compensation and consolation for the county and their supporters, respectively. The practical effect on Essex has been to start badly, then recover but always playing catch-up in the CC. Why don't the counties just say NO? Answer = money. A player who is denied leave to play in the IPL will soon find another county that can afford to cover his absence.

    Fortunately, most English players who have county contracts are not box office stars.

  • Indian on January 31, 2016, 13:49 GMT

    @POPEGREGORYIX: Great post mate , couldn't have put it better , factually correct and dripping with sarcasm .Even when it's not raining in April and May pitches/conditions there are so fresh and seamer friendly that he or most of the batters just keep nicking it, so i am not sure he is going to learn anything .

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