Jos Buttler refreshed and excited for T20s after Test series 'struggle' in South Africa
"It's always disappointing when you don't perform to the standards that you want to"
Last Updated: 12/02/20 3:33pm
Jos Buttler says he is excited for England's T20 series with South Africa after a "disappointing" performance in the Tests.
England won the Test series 3-1 but Buttler struggled to find his best form with the bat, averaging just 16.42 across seven innings, and admits he needed a break after a hectic year.
The World Cup winner was afforded that during the ODIs and has returned from his brief time away refreshed as England's preparations for the T20 World Cup in the autumn begin in earnest.
"I love being here but it is also full on and you enjoy the breaks," Buttler told Sky Sports. "That is always going to be one of the challenges, not just the time away but when you are on tour, finding ways to keep yourself fresh is always a challenge.
"It was a pretty quick break but it was really good for me and I think a change of format, I'm excited for. I love T20 cricket, it gives you lots of chance to go out and express yourself and have some fun.
"I'm really excited for these T20s, it is a format I know well and have got a lot of experience in and it's great fun. To have a series with three games in is nice, a lot of the time it is one game on the end of the ODI series so to have three matches to really look forward to is exciting."
Buttler's place in the white-ball side could not be any more secure but his lack of runs in red-ball cricket over the past few months has led to questions over his place in the side. So how would he assess the recent Test series in South Africa?
"Tough. It's always disappointing when you don't perform to the standards that you want to perform to and do your job as well as you can do for the team. That was disappointing but obviously it was a great series for other guys and for the team as a whole.
"It felt like I needed to score some runs or have a break! That didn't happen and I had a break after the series. It's a really tough one because you want to be involved in everything and a lot of the time it's easy to say you need a break when you lose your form and it's easy to say it must be because of x, y or z.
"At certain times, it might be that a break from the game does you good, at others it might be something you need to tweak technically or mentally.
I'd say that was the struggle I had in the Test series, I don't feel I accessed my zone as well as I could have and probably didn't have as much commitment to the clarity of where I wanted to play sometimes because of that.
"Maybe a break will have helped me with that and also the time out of this environment to just sit and reflect is really powerful. Things certainly seem to become a lot clearer then, when you have a bit of time to reflect and you're not in the heat of the battle trying to work it out.
"You can actually just sit on your own or you're having a walk in the park and having a think about things and you find ways to answer a few questions."
Buttler has rarely struggled to find the right answers in white-ball cricket and with the 50-over World Cup won, he and England will be targeting further success in the T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.
Eoin Morgan's side have just nine more T20 games before the start of the tournament so the three games against South Africa are seen as hugely important.
"I think this is the real start of the run-in to the World Cup," Buttler said. "If you look at the amount of planning that went into the 50-over World Cup, we haven't had as long to run in and look at this T20 World Cup but certainly now it starts.
"In T20 cricket I think we've got a lot of improvements to make, we've not been as consistent but that can come from not looking at the format as the highest priority compared to the 50-over format in the last few years.
"Now T20 is a massive priority and hopefully we can get a settled team and guys in good form."
Watch the first T20I between South Africa and England from 3.30pm, Wednesday on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event.