Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler admitted that it is sometimes necessary for batsmen to ‘swallow their pride’ and spend time in the middle as it is not practically possible to get off to a flyer in every game. Buttler noted that batsmen settling and then cashing in has been the theme of IPL.
IPL 2021 had been a struggle for Jos Buttler prior to the game against the Sunrisers, but on Sunday, the Englishman turned his season around in the most emphatic fashion imaginable, smashing a swashbuckling 124 off just 64 balls. However, despite his score suggesting otherwise, the first part of the innings was a gargantuan struggle for Buttler. An ultra-aggressive batsman by nature, Buttler scored just 8 off his first 13 balls and was 38 off 35 at one stage before he cut loose and shifted to fifth gear. Buttler’s last 35 balls saw him score over 90 runs, but it was only rendered possible because, unlike the first six games of the season, he decided to play himself in before throwing the kitchen sink at the bowling.
Reviewing his knock, which was also incidentally his maiden T20 ton, Buttler insisted that, at times, it is important for batsmen to ‘swallow their pride’ and added that it’s not practically possible to succeed with a gung-ho approach every single time.
“Sometimes you would have to swallow your ego and accept that things haven't been happening like you would like them to or you don't feel in perfect touch or you are not picking up the ball well and just give yourself some time and find a way,” Buttler said on Sunday.
“I like to be aggressive and scoring at a strike rate from the outset but sometimes that isn't possible. Just try and stay in and to keep the belief that at some point something will click and you will turn that around.”
Buttler admitted that, on the back of his mind, he had the small guilt of depriving batsmen down the order the luxury of facing more balls, but stressed that he backed his ability to up the scoring rate in the final phase of the innings. The 30-year-old noted how the best batsmen in the league, such as KL Rahul, follow this template of ‘get in and cash in’ and have managed to win matches consistently for their sides by batting deep into the innings.
“It's a small ground. The longer you take the game, the more balls you face you can capitalize at the end but of course you got some great players sat on the sidelines as well. So you don't want to feel like you are taking balls and not pushing the game on as much as you can, but you know that you the longer you are out of the crease, the more chance you are giving yourself.
“I think that's been the theme of the IPL. Certain players who are very consistent tend to play that way and manage to take the game away in the back half of the 20 overs. I pride myself on my performance and playing well for the team.”
Buttler’s knock aside, Sunday’s showing against the Sunrisers was a much-needed win for Rajasthan, who are now just two points behind fourth-placed Mumbai Indians. Buttler admitted that RR have not been at their best thus far this season, but hoped for the win on Sunday to inject confidence in the side. The England vice-captain further hoped for the century on Sunday to be the turning point of his season.
“We haven't been playing our best cricket yet. Hopefully for myself and the team we can kick on at the back end of the tournament. Certainly a better place to come after scoring a hundred. Of course I will take confidence from this knock and cricket will always show that you are only one good shot away or a slice of luck away from being back in form or one bad piece of luck to thinking you are away from here. So the game keeps us honest that's why we enjoy it so much.”
RR will next face second-placed Chennai Super Kings in Delhi on Wednesday, May 5.