Sport

Buttler ‘demoralising’ top order team mates, says amused Roy

Buttler ‘demoralising’ top order team mates, says amused Roy”

England must improve their bowling since the batting may not always bail the team out.

They even have the ideal warm-up opponents in Pakistan, a team that can veer from the brilliant to the crass in the space of a game.

Amir, who has played 36 Tests, 50 ODIs and 43 T20 Internationals in a career blighted by the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and subsequent five-year ban, was publicly criticised by Sarfaraz along with the other bowlers during the Test series in South Africa in January.

Pakistan will be forced into one change of plan after the viral illness which kept Mohammad Amir out of the match in Southampton now thought to be chicken pox, scuppering any hopes they had of bringing him back.

Buttler's blitzkrieg and half-centuries by Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and skipper Eoin Morgan helped England to a huge total of 373 for three wickets in 50 overs. But things may not be as gloomy as the numbers suggest, for they put up a remarkable fight in the second ODI in Southampton, going down by only 12 runs in a chase of a mammoth 374 against some pretty good bowling.

Pakistan's 358-8 on a flat pitch under blue skies looked to have given the tourists a fair chance of victory but it proved woefully inadequate as Bairstow led the England charge.

Amir is now with his family in London and there was no official word from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or team officials as to how long he will take to recover.

Buttler was named Man of the Match.

He is the best fielder of the three and a better batsman than Wood.

On the other side of the coin, Pakistan also bowled very poorly. Sure, he lacks experience, but with Buttler the one bona fide "crackerjack cricketer" among the batsmen, Archer is the one man now, among the bowlers, who has the potential to reach that status.

Jos Buttler's recent batting form has amazed the cricket world. Yet, surely Buttler was there already?

Actually, his batting is a combination of Dhoni and De Villiers - the inventiveness, improvisation and hand-eye co-ordination of the latter melded to the cool, nerveless presence of the former, especially when prosecuting run-chases.

"He's as good as it gets to be honest", he said. In his hands, a rectangular 161.5 square inches of willow can become rapier, club or scalpel, depending on the psychological wound he wants to inflict.

Earlier, such was Buttler's command his second fifty took a mere 18 balls, with the wicket-keeper making a "rocking the baby" gesture - after the birth of his daughter two weeks ago - to celebrate his century.

Although every batsman performed very well in that innings, Buttler outran those top-order performances. "But what makes Buttler a particularly devastating batsman in this format is a strike-rate of 119.88 - a figure bettered only by the West Indies" Andre Russell (130.45) and Australia's Glenn Maxwell (121.95).



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