By Vishesh RoyNew Delhi [India], April 11 (ANI): England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler was signed by the Rajasthan Royals before the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition and over the course of four years, he has become a linchpin around whom the batting order definitely revolves.
He might not be the captain, but he is definitely someone who comes in the leadership group and his experience once again will be needed if the Rajasthan Royals want to win the IPL title.
In an interaction with ANI, Buttler opened up about his association with the Rajasthan franchise, the bond he shares with his England teammate Ben Stokes, the expectations from new skipper Sanju Samson and how important the tournament is with T20 World Cup just around the corner.
“I am into my fourth year with the Royals and I played some of my best cricket I think ever really in the first season I had with the Royals and I think that the opportunities they gave me, the exposure, Shane Warne was also around. The management creates a really fun and relaxed setup. I feel like they are really accommodating of families as well and that is very special to me. The work the franchise does behind the scenes to look after your family to make that possible and involve them in the team. It is certainly a home away from home. I feel really excited every year to come back,” said Buttler.
Responding to a question about how difficult it would be for a young leader like Sanju Samson to lead Rajasthan, Buttler said: “I think the biggest challenge for Samson would just be the lack of experience of doing it before. I have not captained much and it feels a bit different when you do it and you sort of do not always have long experiences as a captain to fall back on.””Samson has a brilliant cricket brain and he will trust his instincts and lead from the front with the bat and with the gloves. All the things he needs, he will have that in abundance and he has some senior players around him who can offer good advice when he wants to lean on for some advice,” added the 30-year-old Buttler who has scored 1,187 runs for the RR franchise from 34 games.
Talking about having Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer around in the Rajasthan Royals setup, Buttler said: “Yeah, I think it does (making the stay at the franchise easier when you have familiar faces around). It is great when you have familiar faces in the dressing room, it is nice to share conversations with Stokes and Archer about not just cricket, it revolves around PlayStation games most of the time. Of course, now being in the fourth year with the Royals, there are many guys who are not from England but I am accustomed to spending time with them. Lots of familiar faces.”Earlier this year, Rajasthan Royals had appointed former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara as their Director of Cricket. Buttler said that he would definitely want to talk to the legend about how to succeed in the longest format of the game.
“How to score Test match hundreds. I think Test cricket is an amazing challenge, I know we are here for a T20 competition, but Kumar Sangakkara is one of the best Test match players ever and at some point, I would like to sit with him to just listen to him talking about Test cricket. I look forward to hopefully one of those conversations,” said Buttler.
India would be hosting the T20 World Cup in October-November this year. When asked about how important is the IPL keeping World Cup in mind, Buttler said: “I think I would just like to take away some confidence. Any time you come into the IPL, it is a test of playing against the best players in the world. When you perform in this competition, it certainly gives you confidence and it is how it has made me feel when I have performed in the past. The main aim is to perform for my team and help the side to win. World Cup is down the line and it would be good exposure to be here, but the IPL is the only focus at the moment.”Buttler also gave his take on the importance of having a flexible batting lineup in the shortest format of the game and how it can catch the opposition off-guard at certain times.
“It can be really important to have a flexible batting lineup in the shortest format. As the game has evolved, lots of players are very suited to certain situations so there is no need to really be structured with your batting lineup when you can use players at certain times to affect the game when the opportunity arises that suits people’s strengths. Certain grounds, oppositions will demand different things so trying to be not too set in your ways is definitely an advantage for teams and open-mindedness,” said Buttler.
Speaking about the best piece of advice he ever received in his career, Buttler signed off by saying: “I think the best advice I probably had was that there is no secret. A lot of the time is spent in my career to look for that advice that will come from someone, that golden nugget that will certainly unlock the door and make everything right. As I continue to try and get better, different things will come into my game and I must adapt and obviously, the opposition sees you, so you have to adapt your game accordingly. I think the best piece of advice is genuinely to remain authentic and play the game like you want to. You are your own coach.” (ANI)