Can’t plan for future, there could be no cricket in four months’ time: Jos Buttler | Cricket News


Like his batting, Jos Buttler keeps it straight when he speaks. He is one of the few cricketers who have stayed in a bio-secure bubble since cricket resumed after lockdown enforced by Covid-19 pandemic.
The England wicketkeeper-batsman spoke to TOI about coping with the bubble, his fascination for MS Dhoni and how IPL and Rajasthan Royals helped him mould his career…
You’ve been in a bubble since July. How has that been?
It’s been a challenge. Spent the bubble in England. It was cricket 24×7. It’s a lot easier in Dubai. It was great of the Rajasthan Royals to allow family. It’s been massive help.

There are a quite a few tours lined up for you after the IPL…
If you look at anyone in the world right now-whether they are involved in professional sport or elsewhere-there’s a huge amount of uncertainty. It makes it very hard to plan. You can stress yourself out thinking about your future and spending a lot of time in the bubbles. It’s really up to you to look after yourself. The England and Wales Cricket Board has been good in dealing with mental health. There has to be open and honest conversations. If you are finding it tough to cope with the bubble and want to leave, then it has to happen.

Have you thought about the Test series in India in February?
In this day and age, it’s one thing at a time. The tour is planned to go ahead but things could go the wrong way and there may be no cricket in four months’ time.
How has it been to have an Australian (Steve Smith) as your captain at Royals?
It’s been really good to have Smith around. Got to know him and learn a bit from him. Enjoy watching him practise. It’s interesting to see how he thinks about the game, tactically. It will be nice if he could tell the English guys how we can get him out.
There’s been a lot of talk about the spirit in which the game is played…
I don’t think sledging is a part of the game in any form. It’s gone out of fashion a bit. Playing in the IPL, you get to know players better.

You make your fascination for MS Dhoni well known on social media…
I like his demeanour on the field. How cool and calm he is. I like his explosive batting, the helicopter shot. I always watched the IPL on TV. I remember some of the great innings he has played. One thing I really love is the 2011 World Cup final. How he walked out to bat and said I am going to see this home. That was inspiring and the way he finished the game with a six. It always resonated with me.
Flamboyant players like you tend to cop more criticism about how you go about pacing your knocks…
I want to maximise every ball whether am starting an innings or at the end of the innings. I try to focus on productivity. If a bowler bowls a good ball, can I still find at least one run. We all want to stay in for as long as possible. It’s down to an individual to adapt. I found it tough at times when people assume you should play in a certain way in a Test match because you are an attacking batsman. If you want to attack then you should commit to it.
IPL was kind of no-go in English cricket few years ago…
Attitude towards IPL has changed. Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen were pioneers. Andrew Strauss, as director of English cricket, saw that. More exposure for our players under pressure. It’s an open conversation in the English dressing room. Everyone wants to play in the IPL.
In what way has IPL influenced you?
It’s taught me to deal with the chaos. Media commitments, photo shoots and lots of extra things other than cricket. But eventually, you got to know that cricket’s got you here. If you want them, you got to be good at your cricket. 2015 was the toughest period when I got dropped after the Ashes. 2018 was my best phase when I scored for Royals and got my place back in the Test team. I played some of my best cricket after that.
Your duel with Anrich Nortje was one of the most exhilarating moments of cricket this year…
In the powerplay, it’s in your head to play with as much intensity as possible and take the fast bowlers on. That makes for great viewing in T20 cricket. That was a fun spell to be a part of. Unfortunately, I got on the wrong end of it and he got my wicket.

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