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IPL 2022: Is Jos Buttler The Most Elegant Destroyer Of The Cricket Ball?

Jos Buttler smashed a brilliant hundred against KKR in IPL 2022.

There were plenty of questions raised when England decided to promote Jos Buttler at the top of the order even when knowing how good he’s been as a finisher both in ODI and T20Is before that promotion. Since England already had a slew of top-order batters, putting Buttler at the top was risky both to Buttler’s own game and the batter he’d replace.

Jos Buttler first showcased his dominance as an opener for Mumbai Indians in 2017 IPL – average of 27, but importantly strike rate of 153. That move of Morgan and Bayliss has been vindicated in the England shirt as well: of all the T20I batters who have opened in at least 20 T20Is, Buttler has the fourth-highest strike rate (148) of openers who average at least 30 in their career.

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Image source: Twitter.com

However, all of the three players above Jos Buttler in this list – Colin Munro, Evin Lewis, Shane Watson – average in early 30s, while Buttler’s average rockets to 57! Basically, there has never been a T20I opener who averages over 40 and has a higher strike rate than Jos Buttler’s. Elegance meeting destruction.

Batting – and succeeding – in T20 cricket requires you to take risks while also playing a sizeable duration of innings from time to time. The anchor role batters are slowly getting faded away, their importance getting diminished, the big names becoming now a liability.

There are basically two types of top-order batters in T20 cricket: some who anchor the innings around themselves, playing at a mediocre strike rate while banking on the fact that once settled in they’d tee off. However, that approach is as risky, detrimental to their own team as the one used by the other type of batters – those who are willing to play their shots, take risks, who think of the reverse sweep as a smart scoring option rather than a dangerous one.

They are the Babar Azams and Virat Kohlis while the others are the Chris Gayles and Rahul Tripathis.

Then there is Jos Buttler. Who strikes the ball with utmost brutality while also remaining consistent in the longevity of his knocks.

The notion behind Morgan and Bayliss being big on having Buttler as an opener was that he will win games more as an opener than he’ll get the chances to do so as a finisher in T20 cricket. That he will kill the games for England with his quick scoring rate while also batting long enough to ensure that the score is big already with others to capitalize on it.

Jos Buttler has done that for Rajasthan Royals in the past seasons. He’s doing it – even upping his game – this season.

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Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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