The 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is ready for the challenge of taking on India’s ‘strength and depth’
If Jos Buttler had not become a cricketer, he would have been a motor racing great — high on octane, sharp on the bends and fast on the straights.
The man with quick hands and reflexes loves speed; with the bat it means scoring quickly, altering opposition plans and scattering the field.
No hanging around
Just the other day, at Galle, the 30-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman walked in with England on a shaky 89 for four chasing 164 on a surface offering considerable turn.
And soon, Buttler was doing what he knew best, stepping on the accelerator as England zoomed past the finish line. He was light on his feet, swept and reverse-swept with the instincts of an adventurer to settle the issue with a 48-ball unbeaten 46.
It’s a pity that, with the situation arising out of player quarantine and bio-bubbles and the strain it can put on cricketers, this game-changer will be seen only in the first Test against India.
He will subsequently travel back home and return for the white-ball series.
In a virtual media interaction on Saturday, Buttler said, “Rotating players in and out of the series, at times there is frustration because you want to see the best players on show at all times. But it is just not possible looking at the time spent in the bubble.”
Buttler was aware beating India in India was a “huge challenge” and added, “Spending time in India helps you understand the magnitude of the game here.”
The Englishman felt India defeating Australia Down Under in a Test series, without several of its best players, showed its “strength and depth.”
Batting big in the first innings was a key aspect of winning in India, he said. “When the ball swings in England, a first innings total of 300 could be enough. But on a fantastic wicket in India, you may need to make 600 in the first innings.”
Buttler hailed skipper Joe Root’s efforts of 228 and 186 in Sri Lanka and said, “He was a fantastic example for us. He has always had a brilliant game against spin.”
Buttler named fast-bowler Jofra Archer as the X-factor in the series.
Buttler too would be an X factor, if only for one Test. He turns on the ignition and the engine roars to life.
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