Alastair Cook predicted England fans will see a lot more of Jos Buttler’s thrilling strokeplay in the future after his stunning cameo saw England to a 34-run win over New Zealand at Trent Bridge.
Buttler was outscored by both Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan but there was no doubt who turned the course of the match and set England on course for a victory over the Black Caps at the third attempt.
The Somerset wicketkeeper finished 47 not out from just 16 balls, a brief stay that nevertheless included three sixes and six fours.
And if the volume of runs impressed, so too did the manner in which they were scored - a glorious grab-bag of muscular hits and improvised ’ramp’ shots.
Without them England would have falled well short of their eventual 287 for six, a total they defended by bowling the Black Caps out for 253.
Cook, for one, expects more of the same in the months and years to come.
“It’s not going to happen every single time - we know that - but it’s great to have that talent, the potential and the firepower to do that,” the captain said of Buttler’s contribution.
“We’ve all seen him play those shots time and time again in the nets. We’ve seen him do it a number of times for Somerset and we’re going to see him do it a lot more for England.
“It’s a special talent and a talent he’s worked very hard on. It’s great credit to him because it’s a skill that needs to be practised.”
Buttler’s early experiences of ODIs have not always been so successful and he averages only 16.83 from seven innings to date.
He has almost boundless potential, though, and admitted he enjoyed a good day at the office.
“I haven’t quite performed as I’d have wanted in the one-dayers so it was great to put in a performance like that,” he said.
“I’m confident in my own ability and it was great to come in and show that.”
Cook’s opposite number, Brendon McCullum, highlighted the eye-catching contribution of Buttler and New Zealand’s middle-order collapse to 122 for six as integral factors in the eventual outcome.
“I thought today we were good for the majority of the game, but there were obviously two periods (which proved costly),” said New Zealand’s captain.
“Buttler’s innings was world-class and to concede 76 off those last four overs - you’ve got to acknowledge some outstanding batting during that period. With a player as destructive as Buttler there can be no room for error and he played a magnificent innings.
“The other period for us was when we lost four for 20-odd through the middle, but other than that I thought our performance was really good.”