Rajasthan Royals (RR) wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler believes that MS Dhoni has a major role in the emergence of wicketkeeper-captains in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Besides Dhoni, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson play similar roles. The England 'keeper feels that Dhoni should be given credit for this trend. "I am sure MSD (Dhoni) has something to do with the sixth sense and breeding of wicketkeepers who can captain. He obviously has been a fantastic captain and there are lots of players who want to follow his footsteps," Buttler told PTI Bhasha.
Buttler added that leading the side and keeping wickets is an added advantage. "I think a wicketkeeper has a brilliant view of the game. That can add to your decision making as you can see first-hand how the wicket is behaving and the way bowlers are bowling," he said.
Samson will be leading RR for the first time this season and Buttler feels he will lead the side with great passion. He also picks Ben Stokes as the X-Factor this season. "We have lots of variety in the team this season with some world-class all-rounders like Ben Stokes and Chris Morris and a new captain. Sanju (Samson) is very exciting player and has a long affiliation with the franchise. He is a very calm person and likes to have fun. I am sure he would try and get across that to the team. There will be a lot of passion in his leadership.
"I strongly believe Ben Stokes will be the X-factor for our team in this season," said Buttler, who has played 277 international matches for England so far.
On the presence of Kumar Sangakkara among players, Buttler said, "He (Sangakkara) is a legend and has so much knowledge to share. He has vast experience of international cricket and has played the IPL too. He knows what to expect and it's a big plus for everyone to have him around."
Buttler led England in the last two One-Day Internationals (ODI) against India in the absence of regular skipper Eoin Morgan - an experience he claims was valuable. "Playing against India in India is always the biggest challenge for England team. I mean playing against the best players and getting used to the conditions."
"Playing against some young Indian players was a great experience. I have enjoyed playing and captaining against India. I have learnt a lot about myself from that experience," he said.
On the experience of playing behind closed doors and staying in bio-secure bubbles, Buttler said, "Playing without fans and living continuously in bio-bubbles is difficult. You have to learn to live without the energy that the crowd brings to the stadiums in IPL."
"Pressure and excitement are still there but they are not visible. Certain times you have to raise your energy and intensity, which the crowd used to generate earlier," he added.
RR kick start their IPL 2021 campaign against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday (April 12) in Mumbai.