Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Jos Buttler to continue rise in IPL

Jos Buttler enhanced his ever-growing reputation in limited-overs cricket with a series of fine displays for England during the ICC World Twenty20.

The wicketkeeper-batsman entered the tournament under the weight of expectation as the Three Lions’ power player in the middle order following his strong displays against South Africa over the winter.

Buttler struggled in the early stages of the competition with low scores against the West Indies and South Africa along with a paltry six runs against minnows Afghanistan. However, when England needed a performance, the 25-year-old rose to the occasion with an impressive 66 not out against Sri Lanka, which proved to be decisive in securing a 10-run victory over Angelo Mathews’ men to keep his side in the tournament.

Buttler was in imperious form against New Zealand, firing three sixes in quick succession to get the Three Lions over the line and into the World Cup final.

His power was on full display again in Kolkata against the West Indies in the final as he dispatched the bowling of Sulieman Benn over the boundary three times in England's counterattack. However, he made 36 before he was caught going for one big shot too many off the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite, ending his innings when he was just beginning to hit his stride at the crease, while he was powerless to watch as Brathwaite powered the Windies to victory.

Despite England's defeat, Buttler's 191 runs earned him a place in the ICC team of the tournament for his exploits in the middle.

Buttler made a strong impression on the crowds in India with the noise level elevating every time he entered the pitch, bat in hand, which will stand him in good stead when he begins his career with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

The franchise bought the services of the wicketkeeper for £385,000 after the England and Wales Cricket Board allowed him to play for the duration of the competition, as a result of him losing his Test place to Jonny Bairstow.

Mumbai will be aiming to follow up their efforts from their triumphant 2015 campaign, when the club secured their second title, with another success. Their Indian Premier League cricket odds to win the crown stand at 5/1.

Adding Buttler will add power to their batting lineup, with stars such as Keiron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and skipper Rohit Sharma already amongst their ranks.

The 25-year-old will be desperate to make a lasting impact as one of only three English players plying their trade at the tournament along with Kevin Pietersen and Sam Billings.

Buttler demonstrated that he has all the shots in his repertoire to be one of the dominant players in the IPL after notching 12 sixes in the World T20, the second highest in the competition.

He will also get the chance to further develop his skills against high-quality spin bowling on the turning tracks of the Sub-continent, which can only benefit England and his county side Lancashire in the future.

The challenge will be great for the 25-year-old as England players have struggled to hit the heights of their foreign counterparts, but if any player can buck the trend it will be Buttler.

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