Blast off for Buttler
Jos Buttler's stunning 32no off 10 balls is the launch pad his England career needs, says Nick Knight.
Last Updated: 13/09/12 9:41am
Jos Buttler's stunning 32no off 10 balls against South Africa is the launch pad his England career needs, says Nick Knight.
Somerset blaster Buttler bagged three sixes and two fours - both scoops to fine leg - to help propel England to a 28-run, series-levelling victory at Edgbaston in a match reduced to 11 overs a side by rain.
England fly to Sri Lanka on Thursday afternoon to prepare for the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 title and Knight told Sky Sports that Buttler - who has previously scored 36 runs in six T20 international innings - will be brimming with confidence when he takes his place on the plane.
"Importantly, he'll be thinking 'I can do this now' because things haven't always gone his way and when that happens you start doubting yourself," said Knight.
"It doesn't matter how many times the coach comes up and pats you on the back and says 'you're the man', you've got to do it for yourself. He's gone out and done it for himself.
"So it's a huge moment. I'm not saying he's arrived on the international scene and everything in the garden is rosy but what a moment it was for the lad.
"It was a well-thought innings. He went straight to start with - sometimes he goes square of the wicket quickly - and then he went to the scoop on a free-hit in the belief that if it goes slightly wrong he can't be out. Then once it was short he was seeing it like a football."
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Nasser Hussain said Buttler's innings - and strike-rate of 320 - fully justified the decision to include him at No 5 in the order and demonstrated exactly the type of dynamic, 'no fear' cricket England must play if they are to retain their World Twenty20 crown.
"All credit to England - all credit to Flower and Broad - because they could have put Jonny Bairstow in," said Hussain. "Bairstow has had a fabulous summer. They could have put him in ahead of Buttler but they said 'no, young man, show us what you can do'. 32 from 10 balls - that's what he can do.
"I think they needed that win just to give everyone a little bit of confidence - Jos Buttler in particular. He hadn't got many runs in an international shirt but he'll go there with confidence, as does Craig Kieswetter, the player of the tournament.
"I think England need runs. If they can get runs, with their young bowling and fielding outfit I think they'll do alright. They need to wallop Afghanistan - play some really good cricket against them and just keep building throughout the series.
"They've got a chance - of course they have - but they've got to play like trophy holders. They can't go there and think 'we're underdogs'. They've got to puff their chests out and say 'we're here to win this tournament'."
Coverage of England's first World Twenty20 group game, against Afghanistan, begins at 2.30pm on Sky Sports 1 HD on Friday September 21. PLUS don't miss our special live preview show on Sky Sports 2 HD on Monday from 7-9pm.