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‘Never felt comfortable to just go out and play shots’ – Jos Buttler

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Jos Buttler, the England vice-captain, played a crucial knock of 89 against India on Saturday, September 8, to help England post 332, despite being reduced to 181-7 on the first day at the Oval.

The rescue act has been a theme for most of the summer, and it earned him a lot of plaudits, but Buttler said he was merely trying to play the situation.

“You try and sum up a situation and play accordingly,” he said. “Batting where I do, when you start batting with the tail, I feel quite comfortable going into that mode (starting slow and then shifting gears).

Buttler has enjoyed a sublime run of form since being recalled to the Test side after terrific performances for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018. Since his return, he has scored 510 runs at 51, and is the highest run-scorer for England this summer, 199 runs ahead of second-placed Joe Root.

“People have said to me, ‘oh you should play the way you do in white-ball cricket in red-ball cricket’. I’ve never really seen it like that. I’ve never felt comfortable just to go out there and play shots,” he said.

“For any batsman, you’re always reviewing your decision ball by ball. It’s about being respectful of the situation, and playing it accordingly.”

Buttler has crossed fifty runs five times this summer

Buttler has crossed fifty runs five times this summer

The England bowlers made the most of Buttler’s efforts, reducing India to 174-6 by stumps on the second day.

“The lead (158 runs) at the minute is quite healthy,” said Buttler. “If we can back up the performance tomorrow morning, we can be in a really strong position in the game.”

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