Doing well in the powerplay will be the key to success: Jos Buttler

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23 Oct 2021 | 04:57 AM
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Doing well in the powerplay will be the key to success: Jos Buttler

The 31-year-old admitted that, in the UAE, batting tends to get difficult post the first six overs

England opener Jos Buttler, who had two fine outings in the warm-up matches against India and New Zealand, asserted that, from first-hand experience, he’s realized that taking advantage of the powerplay will be key to success in the UAE. Buttler, a finisher in 50-over cricket, started opening in the shortest format three years ago, and has been a revelation since then. 

One of the best exponents of powerplay batting, evident by his SR of 145.75 in the phase, the right-hander, in his column for Telegraph Sport, stressed that teams will have to take advantage of the field restrictions due to the wickets having the tendency to slow down.

“I played in the Indian Premier League in the UAE at this time last year, which is helpful in terms of knowing what to expect in the World Cup. One of the big lessons was the importance of the Powerplay - which is great for me as an opener,” Buttler wrote in his Telegraph Sport column.

“The Powerplay is when the ball is at its hardest and is probably when the pitch is playing at its best. It's certainly an area that will be really important with both bat and ball.

“As a batter, it's about trying to attack it in the right way. The wickets get a bit slower later, so it’s not as easy to come in in the middle order and start to hit straight away. A few guys describe it as being like the air almost going out the ball - it doesn't go as far as the ball gets a little bit older.”

England will face defending champions West Indies in their first game of the T20 World Cup on Saturday, and Buttler expressed his admiration for the Caribbean side’s fearless approach, wherein they back their ability to hit sixes. 

“The West Indies, our opponents in the opening game, really back their six-hitting when they need it. They can soak up pressure knowing that they need to hit a certain amount of sixes in the last four or five overs to win the game. They trust themselves that they can do that. They don’t need to take excess risks in other areas because they feel they can hit sixes when they need to. It’s a great mindset in T20.

“I’ve now got the belief that there’s no reason why I couldn't hit two sixes in a row at some point. That gives you such a different outlook on how quickly the game can change. It’s a belief thing to take pressure away from yourself,” the 31-year-old said.

The England white-ball vice-captain had initially claimed that he might pull out of The Ashes to spend time with family, but later agreed to travel Down Under and take part in the prestigious tour. The 31-year-old revealed that he was initially apprehensive about going to Australia due to strict restrictions, but had no doubts about traveling after the Australian government gave the green light for families to accompany players.

“The last few weeks have been quite difficult with lots of unknowns. We've all wanted clarity around what the tour would look like and whether families were able to go and stuff like that. 

“People were asking questions, understandably, but we could only answer them with the information we had at that time - there were so many different ideas as to what it would be like, what the rules would be in the bubble and if families would be allowed to travel. It was important to have all options open, and have the information to be able to make a decision. 

“But luckily it's all been sorted out and everyone's been able to commit to the tour. I’m really excited for the trip, and very glad to be able to travel with my family, who are able to come on the whole tour.”

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