Cricket

Jos Buttler's attacking game the key to his Test career

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From the moment Jos Buttler unleashed one of his most celebrated shots, 'The Ramp Shot', the world knew this man was destined to send shivers down bowling line-ups.

A match winner as he is, Buttler, at the age of just 23, has established himself right up there in that dossier of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball in the modern era. If anyone ever doubted his ability to score big innings with that stroke-making habit of his, he cleared of all those by cracking what is certainly the best ODI knock (121 off 74 at Lord's) by an Englishman in my view, and one of the best knocks ever played in international limited overs cricket.

The vital component

After having established himself as a vital part of England's limited overs squads, the next challenge that lies ahead of the Somerset star is test cricket. There have been several eyebrows raised about whether he is a test brand or not.

I'm one of those too whose initial thoughts on the wicketkeeper are that he won't be a successful test player. What makes me say that though is my worries over whether or not he could carry the same bit of aggression to test cricket?. There's no doubt he is as talented as any young player in the world and he is a natural stroke-maker.

When watching him at Lancashire and Somerset many a times, I've always noticed that he is at his best while sticking to his natural game and whenever he has gone into the shell, he has looked horrible as defensive knocks aren't his thing, more like KP I'd say.

What Matt Prior, Buttler's predecessor, did was that he played freely and played all kinds of shots when he arrived at the crease and that gave him a lot of success throughout. Though, it was only when Matt Prior established himself and gained experience when he learnt to play the more restricted, defensive, kind of knocks, the best example of which came at Auckland 2013 when he batted all day and saved the match with an unbeaten 110.

Copying the blueprint

Buttler would need to do exactly what Prior did to kick-start his test career. He shouldn't really try doing anything different but attack the opposition from the initial stages of his knock, exactly as his predecessor did.

It's only with time when Buttler will start to learn about digging in and shaping up an innings to eventually pick up the pace. For now though, as he has promised as well, the England wicketkeeper would need to do exactly what he does best. Doing this will indeed do him a lot good and hopefully he'll become a good test cricketer too. 

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From the team's perspective, Buttler's entry into the test squad ensures a dashing player in the line-up. If he comes and starts attacking, the inexperience of the Indian bowlers will show up and that's where Buttler could smoke India out of the match in just one session, something that Pietersen often did.

He could eventually be the player that lifts the English camp and somehow end England's woes.

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Topics:
Cricket
England cricket

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