Jos Buttler scores century after 'refreshing' break from cricket
"The summer was great fun but certainly took a lot out of most of us, so the four to five weeks we've had off have been invaluable"
Last Updated: 17/11/19 2:55pm
Jos Buttler says he has been "refreshed" by a break from cricket following a draining summer after hitting his sixth first-class century in the Test warm-up against New Zealand A.
Buttler was an ever-present as England won the World Cup in dramatic style and then drew 2-2 with Australia in the Ashes series, and he subsequently sat out the five-match T20I series against New Zealand earlier this month, along with a number of senior players.
The 29-year-old scored 110 - just his second first-class ton in five years - in the drawn practice match at Whangarei and admitted to feeling revitalised.
"It was a tough summer, physically and emotionally, great fun and a huge challenge and one you look back on with real fondness," said Buttler, who will keep wicket for England in the first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui, which is live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9pm on Wednesday.
"But it certainly took a lot out of most of us, so the four to five weeks we've had off have been invaluable. It's been really good to have some time away from the game, and sort of get refreshed and allow yourself time to think.
"[I had time for a] bit of reflection on where I was at, and to work on some things that I felt I needed to work on. It was nice to have some time to do that because you don't always get time with the way the schedule is.
"[Hundreds] is something I've been very light on. I know it's a warm-up match but it's nice to spend time in the middle and get to three figures."
Buttler linked up with former Somerset team-mate Marcus Trescothick during his break, having enjoyed working with the ex-England opener during the Ashes series while he has part of the coaching staff.
The wicketkeeper-batsman made minor technical adjustments but says the pair mainly focused on mentality and reaffirming that Buttler does not need to be as aggressive in Test matches as he is in white-ball cricket.
"I spoke to [Trescothick] about doing a few sessions, which I thought was brilliant," added Buttler. "I really enjoyed that and got a lot out of it. It gave me some building blocks to feeling in good touch.
"There were a few technical tweaks, just a few things that creep into your game, which you try and eradicate - more around my set-up really, just trying to be in the right place at the right time when the ball's released.
"We spoke a lot about the game-plan as well. There's so many different techniques - I don't think there is a right one - but the guys that seem to score runs consistently read the game well and have very good plans.
"I've never really seen red-ball cricket as easy as coming in and playing really attacking. I've never really convinced myself to do that and I don't want to pigeonhole myself to play one way.
"Since I've come back into the Test side I've faced quite a lot of balls. Trusting my defence has been a big part of trying to improve myself as a red-ball player."
Watch day one of the first Test between New Zealand and England, at Bay Oval in Tauranga, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9pm on Wednesday.