Jos Buttler says England opening spot is his ‘favourite’ after match-winning 77 against Australia

Jos Buttler says opening the batting is “my favourite favourite position to bat” in T20 cricket after he smashed an unbeaten 77 off 54 balls at the top of the order in the series-clinching win over Australia at The Ageas Bowl on Sunday.

Buttler’s best position in the T20 team has been debated since making a more permanent move up the order two years ago, since which time he has hit four of his nine T20I fifties.

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England captain Eoin Morgan says they will “continue to look at options” in the opening positions, but Buttler is certainly happy to stay put for the time being.

“It probably is my favourite position to bat in T20 cricket,” said Buttler. “I’ve had most of my success in T20 at the top, but that’s natural – if you bat in the top three in T20, it’s the best place for everyone.

“We’ve probably got eight or nine guys who’d stick their hand up to bat in the top three; I’m very happy there, but I’m also very happy to do whatever the team needs of me.

“I’ve played a lot of my career – T20 and one-day cricket – batting in the middle, so I’m very comfortable doing that as well. It’s really for the coach and captain to decide.

“We’ve got lots of strength in depth; it’s something that is the mark of good teams, good players fighting over positions and that will serve us well going forward.


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“It was a great feeling to be able to walk off at the end, having won the game for your team – obviously a big game for us, with the chance to win the series, which we were determined to do.

“Once I came through the powerplay – it was one of those wickets where you felt like you needed a few balls to get used to the pace of it – and then the game was set up like a one-day chase.

“Irrelevant to me opening, I just saw it as if I was coming in in the middle-order of a one-day game, the equation of trying to chase those runs down.”

Warne: No weakness to Buttler’s batting

Former Australian spinner Shane Warne works with Buttler in his role as part owner of Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals, where Buttler first made the move up the order.

“Yes, he can bat down the order and finish games – there’s a few players that can do that – but there’s not many players that can do this, win the game from the top,” Warne explained.

“It’s the perception of what he could do that upsets the bowlers. If you’re a bowler standing at the top of the mark, you’re thinking, what is he going to do?

“The key to his batting is the way he hits the ball, he hits it all round the ground. There’s no particular weakness to his batting, and when you don’t have a weakness, it’s hard to come up with a plan to bowl to him.

“When he starts moving around his crease, he’s got all the shots, the ramps, down the ground, good cricket shots and when you drop it short, he goes ‘whack’. He’s a 360 (degree) player.

“I thought his batting was fantastic. You thought the spinners were going to be the key in the middle overs, but they just couldn’t get that done – that was due to Buttler’s brilliance.

“It was outstanding batting; that’s why he’s one of the best players in this form of the game.”

Pietersen: Buttler is a ‘freak show’

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen was another left waxing lyrical about Buttler’s match-winning knock, particularly his straight six down the ground to end the game with seven balls to spare.

“That is a monster; that is huge,” enthused Pietersen. “You wondered whether he would actually go down town, with six to win, maybe knock it around, but he has come down and hit a beauty!

“Some players are just good. With some players, when they get in, you’ve just got to take your cap off and say, ‘you know what, today is your day’.

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