IPL experience helps Jos Buttler and England ‘spoil the party’ for India
Buttler starred in an opening stand of 170* that led England to a ten-wicket win in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final.
And the England captain’s contribution would have come as no surprise to watching Indian fans after his displays in India’s franchise competition.
Buttler’s overall record in the IPL is strong. But his incredible returns in the 2022 edition of the tournament were a warning of what was to come for India’s bowlers.
Earlier this year Buttler smashed 863 runs in 17 matches for the Rajasthan Royals, helping them to the final.
And those runs came at an average of 57.63 and a strike rate of 149.05, with the England captain smashing four centuries along the way.
The 32-year-old believes his own individual IPL experience wasn’t the only thing that aided England in their semi-final.
With the scoring rate rocketing during England’s chase, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and former captain Virat Kohli attempted to whip up the crowd in hope of using atmosphere to build pressure.
Yet Buttler says that the moment actually gave him confidence, and would have had little impact in any case given how comfortable his team now are in such scenarios.
“If he (Pandya) goes to try and get the crowd behind you, that's telling you that you're doing well.
“I think we have quite a lot of IPL experience in our team, as well, which means situations like tonight don't surprise you.
“We've played in India a lot, understand the noise that comes with the fans of Indian cricket, especially when certain guys walk onto the field or when they're batting and the impact they can have.
“But having had so much experience as a team playing in the IPL, I don't think it's as much of a factor anymore.”
The IPL isn’t the only franchise competition that Buttler believes played a part in England’s win on the day.
His opening partner Alex Hales was picked partly on the strength of his record in Australian conditions in the Big Bash. And the England captain feels that Hales’ experience of playing at Australian grounds was clear to see in his match-winning contribution of 86*.
“I think Alex would have played as much Big Bash cricket as anyone, and his performance tonight was amazing. I think it's some huge strengths of his, square of the wicket, which obviously today on this kind of grounds really is great.
“He's been performing really well for a long period of time. The last three matches especially, his form has been brilliant, and he was great to just tuck in behind tonight and bat at the other end.”
England’s win means the tournament will not see a repeat of the India-Pakistan clash that sparked the Super 12 stage into life.
“I think certainly there were a few people wanting that final, of course, but certainly for us, we were desperate to get there.
“We wanted to, like I said, spoil that party.
“Having seen the first game of the tournament between India and Pakistan, there's a lot of people that would have loved to have seen another edition of that, but they'll have to wait for another time.”
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
Feel the buzz in the stands and see the best teams in the world play on the biggest stage of all.