Having made his international debut in 2011, England wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler has come a long way. In particular, Buttler has played an instrumental role in England’s resurgence in white-ball cricket after the 2015 World Cup disaster.
During the IPL auction in January, Buttler was signed by the inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals for INR 4.40 crores. Besides Buttler, there are 11 other England cricketers who are featuring in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
The participation of 12 English players in IPL 2018 has come as a surprise to many given the fact that they were initially a bit circumspect to play in the cash-rich event. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Buttler reveals the reason behind sudden change in attitude towards IPL among the current crop of England cricketers.
“The changing opinions and attitudes towards white-ball cricket are key. The IPL clashes with our county season. We are taking white ball cricket as seriously as red ball cricket. There are not many players who play all formats. So, the burnout issue is not prevalent anymore. Trevor Bayliss, in particular, who had success with Kolkata Knight Riders as the head coach, knows how important it is for the success of players,” Jos Buttler told Hindustan Times.
When asked about England’s resurgence in ODI cricket following the disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign in Australia, the wicketkeeper batsman said: “We decided that we could not play any worse or do anything worse. We wanted to push the boundaries of what we are capable off. In England, ODI cricket was always seen as a poor relation to Test cricket, which was always deemed important. Andrew Strauss (England’s Director of cricket) sort of arrested that balance and made a more conscious effort in making a successful white ball team.”
Considering his prowess in white-ball cricket, there were plenty of expectations from Buttler in IPL 2018. However, the 27-year-old hasn’t lived up to it as of now. In the seven innings of this year’s IPL, Buttler is yet to hit a fifty for Rajasthan Royals.
Talking about his disappointing IPL 2018 campaign, the England glovesman said: “The pressure is always there in professional sport. It is a result-oriented business. We know the IPL is not won in the group stages. We need to start playing better cricket to allow ourselves the opportunity to enter the knockout stages.”
Recently, Alex Hales and Adil Rashid opted for a white-ball only contracts with their respective county sides. Expressing his opinion on this matter, Buttler said: “I think there is nothing wrong in people wanting to specialise in the sport. It is becoming increasingly tough to play in all three formats. I don’t think we should have that snobbery that if you play cricket, you need to play all formats.”
Jos Buttler concluded by talking about the club versus country debate – that has become the talk of the town lately.
“Country, hopefully, always comes first. The climate of cricket has changed a lot with the IPL and the money the tournament offers. At the end of the day, we are professional athletes and we have a short career. To a big extent, earning as much money in that time is hugely important,” Buttler signed-off.