Mitchell Starc has proclaimed that Jos Buttler has become the standard-bearer for the Aussie side and a manual on how they can adapt to such situations and implement accordingly. Starc has further added that lack of proper match practice cost Australia big-time in the first two games in Southampton.
Jos Buttler was at his freakish best in the second T20I against Australia, having scored an unbeaten 77 from 54 balls to finish the match with seven deliveries to spare. It was an innings typical of Buttler - a sign of murderous form he showed for his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and previously Mumbai Indians.
The range of strokes that he has shown in the ongoing series has shook the Aussie bowlers, whose strong intuition and quality helped Australia to the No.1 ranking in the T20 cricket. Mitchell Starc took inspiration from the way Buttler batted and hinted that Australia might adopt such a plan in the last game of the series, where a loss would result in them conceding the No.1 ranking to the hosts.
"In terms of structuring an innings, our batters are going to have their own plans and play their own way. I don't think we have too many that bat exactly like Jos, he's someone who moves around the crease a lot, something that Smithy [Steven Smith] does I guess. But in terms of someone being destructive in the powerplay and getting your team through to the end, that's something you want your openers to do,” Starc was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
"He is a clean striker of the ball and he certainly got them home today with the bat. When you get someone striking them the way he has for the last two games, it is so powerful in T20 because it's such a short format. It is something we are going to have to plan for now for the third game. We need to chat as a group and be ready to go for the one-dayers as well."
Australia conceded the advantage in the first game, where a loss was an almost no-no at the half-way mark of the chase. The batting failed to keep up once again in the second bout, leaving the side to suffer a series loss at the hands of the arch-rivals. Starc blamed it on the lack of game-time for them as he claimed that no amount of centre-wicket simulations can match the standards of an actual game.
"It's not an excuse but coming off five months without cricket doesn't help. You can't really simulate international matches by having nets or a centre-wicket practice. And T20 cricket is such a short game - those little moments have really cost us in the long run. We've been a little bit off where we want to be and I think that comes from a little bit of game time.
"Hopefully now we can fix that for the third game and then move on to the one-dayers, and show now [that] we've had that game time we can get those plans right and execute a bit better than we have those first two T20s. Like in the first game when we had it in control and [had] a little slip with the bat, and playing England you aren't going to get that back. There was still plenty of good stuff with bat and ball. I think we were just that little bit off, which I think you get from playing cricket,” the New South Wales pacer added.