Is Jos Buttler the best T20 player in the world?
After his match-winning performance against Australia yesterday, Jos Buttler showed again why he is so highly regarded in T20 cricket.
But is he the best T20 player in the world?
If you looked at our Twitter poll after yesterday’s game, a massive 93% said he is. Quite remarkable for a player with relatively moderate stats.
His 77 not out against Australia is his highest score in T20 International cricket from 71 games.
His average is only just over 28.5 and strike rate is a healthy, yet modest, 140. But that only tells half the story.
Buttler has faced 1,038 balls in T20 Internationals, scoring 127 fours and 59 sixes. That’s a boundary every 5 and half balls.
England want their best players facing as many balls as they possibly can, hence the reason why Buttler is opening the batting. He can take the game away from any opposition in the Powerplay and is arguably England’s best player against spin which is often used by many teams in the first couple of overs.
His innings yesterday was also very different to the usual clattering of boundaries. There were just 8 fours and 2 sixes (the one to win the game was truly enormous) from his 54 balls, yet the strike rate was over 140 which shows how well he rotated the strike and ran the Australian fielders ragged. At times it looked like like he was mocking the fielders, chipping a ball over extra cover for four and then reverse sweeping the very next ball behind point where they had just moved the fielder from because of the previous shot.
The recent Test series proved what an incredible talent he is, especially under enormous pressure. It looks like he trusts his game more than ever before, and the has matured with being one of the more senior players in both the red and white-ball formats. The fact that he keeps wicket too is just an added bonus.
Is he the best on the world? Well there are many players with a better average, Eoin Morgan, Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli to name a few, the latter averages over 50 in every format, but there are few feared more than Jos Buttler which is probably why many think he is.
A win for England in the next game will see them return to number one in the world, and with Jos Buttler at the top of theorder and at the peak of his powers, they might be there for quite a while.
The final T20 game between England and Australia takes place on Tuesday 8th September at 6pm