Jos Buttler Turns Out to Be the Game Changer for England
Flavour of the seasons
After a disheartening defeat at Nottingham, England returned from the dead and bounced back emphatically to seal the ODI series against India. Their batsmen once again dominated the proceedings and were equally backed by the bowlers. England can now strongly believe that they can win the upcoming ICC World Cup. India are one of the deadliest sides in contemporary cricket and England did well to get the better of them.
England have never won a World Cup and this is inarguably their best shot to get their hands over the coveted trophy. They have a side brimming with superstars and have invested in talented players since the last World Cup. Eoin Morgan has led the side with example and possesses many deadly weapons, with the most prominent one being Jos Buttler.
Buttler has been scaling newer heights for England in the recent times; his bat has spilled fire in every format and earned accolades from the cricketing greats. Although he didn’t showcase his magic in the series against India, but he is certainly in the form of his life. He wreaked havoc in the Indian Premier League for his franchise Rajasthan Royals; in fact, he had a key role to play behind their revival in the tournament.
Buttler’s magnificent form in the IPL saw him making a comeback in the English Test side for the series against Pakistan. In all probability, he was also the first English cricketer to make a Test comeback riding on his blistering T20 form. His selection in the Test side was questioned by many, but Buttler proved them wrong with elegance. He scored the tough runs and helped England make a comeback in the final game after losing the first encounter.
Buttler was unstoppable in the ODI series against Australia as well. By the end of that series, he proved that he can be equally effective across formats and gave a testament to his versatility. There are not many cricketers in this world, who can inspire similar confidence in all the three formats. That breed is rare, and Buttler certainly belongs to that one. His fitness has never been an issue, which is an added advantage. He is the game-changer.
Former English legend Michael Vaughan rates Buttler as the X-factor in this English side and also feels that he can inspire England to their maiden World Cup win. “I look at the England side and Buttler is the one. Teams that win trophies have X-factor cricketers. He’s right up there. I’ve got everything crossed that he doesn’t pick up an injury. If he’s fit next year, they’ve got the best chance they have ever had,” Vaughan told BBC’s radio Test match special.
“What he provides to the team is that calmness. Whenever he is out there in the middle, he reads the game better than most. He knows and the team know that the opposition are scared of him more than most,” Vaughan added.
Saying that Buttler has had a huge impact on the English side would be an understatement. England are the most feared side in shorter formats today and Buttler has played a key role behind this success. He has mastered this format and has left no stones unturned in his preparations. He holds the record of fastest ODI ton for England and till early 2016, he had England’s three fastest ODI centuries to his name.
England have been unstoppable against the white ball and their recent success against India only speaks volumes of their dominance. With the Test series being just around the corner, Buttler will once again have a key role to play. One shouldn’t forget, the same confidence has gone for a toss for England in Test cricket.
The five-match series against India will be an ideal platform for them to regain their confidence and gain some momentum. Buttler has been roped in for the first Test at Edgbaston and will have a key role to play as he has been the man in form and India does have a daunting bowling attack to begin with. The series will be a golden opportunity for Buttler to stamp his authority on Test cricket as well but the path will be difficult. England can only underestimate India at their peril, they are a well-oiled side. Buttler in the middle-order against an intimidating Indian bowling will be the flavor of the season.