England and Lancashire wicketkeeper Jos Buttler insists consistency is the key this season as he settles into his new county surroundings.
Following a winter that featured limited-overs international action in Australia, the West Indies and Bangladesh, Buttler made his eagerly-awaited debut in Lancashire whites this week having moved north from Somerset over the winter.
The 23-year-old appeared in good touch across four days versus Warwickshire in the LV= County Championship, contributing 28 and 42 with the bat and taking three first-innings catches before the match accelerated towards a dramatic final-evening draw.
“You want to be consistent across all formats,” Buttler, who made his close-season switch in order to become a first-choice gloveman and pursue his ultimate goal of an England Test place, told ecb.co.uk.
“I started to be a bit more consistent last year and hopefully this year, again, I can become a better all-round player in all forms.
“I had a reasonable winter, it was okay, and you can always contribute more. You’ll always feel like you can do more but I’m getting better and hopefully I can keep improving and become more consistent.”
Next up for Lancashire - who yesterday put captain Glen Chapple in coaching charge for the rest of the season - is a game at Northamptonshire, their fellow promotion winners from last term, starting tomorrow.
There will be little time to dwell on the end of the Peter Moores era for the Red Rose, with a focus on acquiring vital early-season points in what looks set to be a fiercely contested Division One.
Buttler relishes this competitive edge, especially at the new-look Emirates Old Trafford – an arena fit for top-flight combat.
“With all the redevelopments, the ground looks great ,” he said. “And back in the first division, where Lancashire should be.
“It’s going to be a really tough season in the first division – there are some really strong sides around – so we’ll have to play some good cricket.”
— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) April 25, 2014
Alongside Old Trafford’s sparkling refit, the domestic Twenty20 competition in which Buttler first came to prominence as an inventive strokemaker has also undergone a revamp.
The NatWest T20 Blast will be played across the season in prime Friday-night slots geared towards bringing in packed crowds.
This means a quick turnaround between red and white-ball cricket will soon be standard practice in the English summer – a particular challenge for those with high aspirations across the formats such as Buttler.
“It is very different – not blocked off like it used to be – and on Friday night’s, so hopefully there’ll be some really good crowds and an exciting tournament,” he added.
“It will be a really good challenge for the counties, playing in a different way because you go from a championship game to a Twenty20. Whoever adapts best will come out on top.”