Buttler aims to speed things up


Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Jos Buttler already has unique billing as the scorer of the two fastest hundreds in England’s one-day international history – and he hopes to go even quicker in future.

Buttler added a 66-ball century, in England’s record-breaking Royal London Series victory over World Cup finalists New Zealand at Edgbaston, to add to the Lord’s hundred he smashed off only 61 against Sri Lanka last summer.

His big-hitting, and some too from Joe Root above him – the Yorkshireman raced to three figures in 71 balls, to become England’s third-fastest for around an hour or so before Buttler overtook him – carried the hosts into unchartered territory with their first ever 400-plus ODI total.

It was all too much for the Kiwis, who had trounced England in Wellington in their last meeting four months ago, but this time folded to 198 all out to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.

England recorded their biggest runs margin of victory, 210, leaving Buttler to expound afterwards as to what may still be possible as the transformation of Eoin Morgan’s team gathers pace.

Captain Morgan, and his deputy Buttler, both spoke before Tuesday’s match about the collective decision to ditch the conservatism associated with their woeful World Cup winter.

At the first attempt, they lived out their own prophecies with a display which left even Morgan admitting his expectations had been exceeded.

Buttler shared a world-record seventh-wicket stand of 177 with Adil Rashid, in which there was just a note of momentary initial caution after England had lost four wickets for 31 runs.

He senses, in other circumstances, he may perhaps be capable of lowering his own record for England’s fastest century.

“I feel really proud,” said Buttler.

“Throughout my career, that is the way I enjoy playing cricket.

“My method is to score as many as I can as quick as I can.

“I hope, one day, I’ll have a go at trying to break those records.”

He is confident too that, with a clutch of new faces in England’s limited-overs colours this summer, collectively they can only improve – albeit, he concedes, with the inevitability of an occasional misfiring episode along the way.

“There’s a huge potential,” Buttler said.

“We don’t want to get carried away at one performance and think English ODI is fixed and we’re going to win the World Cup.

“But I think, just looking round… there’s definitely been an extra buzz.

“Everyone has seen in county cricket how guys like Jason Roy and Sam Billings have played innings that make people stand up and take notice.

“When we realise the potential of everyone as a group and can all do that at the same time, it will be a really exciting place to be.”

To achieve that, he warns – as has Morgan – that England must make a gentleman’s agreement with their own public, and conscience, that it will not always come off.

He said: “I think so… at 200 for six, we kept going.

“I hit a couple through the slips – and if those chances are taken, we could potentially have been all out for 250.

“But if you scrape up to 250 in 50 overs, that’s not going to win you too many games any more.

“You have to be looking at 300-plus at least.”

England’s gung-ho approach, even on a wonderful batting pitch, left the Kiwis with nowhere to hide in reply.

“New Zealand were bowled out in 30-odd overs, but they had to keep going,” added Buttler.

“There’s no point just knocking the ball around and taking 280.

“I think that is a big change – everyone has accepted English cricket can do that – and I don’t think, if we were bowled out for 200 in 30 overs, we would have been criticised that much.

“We had a real lease of life to go and play that way.

“You play to win.”

Buttler’s contribution will continue to be key, and he aspires one day to be considered as England’s answer to AB de Villiers.

He does not put himself yet in the same bracket as the great South African, but is happy to aim high after hitting five of England’s record 14 sixes in an ODI innings.

“I’m not sure I’m quite at those guys’ level yet,” said the 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman.

“AB de Villiers is someone who has been a role model for me for a long period of time – someone who has changed batting, I think, over the past few years – and everyone is trying to emulate him.

“That’s the role I want to play in English cricket.

“I want to be that guy who can go out like I did and play those kind of innings and try to do that consistently.”

:: All-rounder David Willey will be released from England’s 14-man squad to play for Northamptonshire in their home NatWest T20 Blast fixture against Derbyshire on Thursday.

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by The News Editor

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