Buttler aiming to scoop success
Next time Jos Buttler gazes at a bowler, stoops and begins to move across his stumps, one could forgive him for doing so with trepidation.
For Buttler, the scoop-sweep, Dilscoop or whatever they are calling it nowadays is something of a signature shot.
Indeed, many a bowler - upon the ball leaving their hand - has greeted that familiar sight of the right-hander moving his body outside off stump with a sigh, quickly followed by a glance to the fine-leg boundary.
It is such flair, along with an unrivalled List A record - he averages just shy of 70 in 40 games - that first caught the eye of the England selectors.
Yet when Buttler’s moment in the international arena came recently, his trump card proved his undoing. In the face of Pakistan’s Umar Gul - arguably the world’s finest Twenty20 bowler - he stooped twice and fell both times.
For many a 21-year-old, the disappointment would force a rethink. But, thankfully, not Buttler. The confidence he displays on the field when crashing bowlers to all parts is mirrored off it.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, he said: “I don’t think you can go away from your strengths and it is definitely one of mine.
“I think in the whole time I have been playing, I’ve only got out playing it three times - obviously twice has been on the biggest stage.
“Maybe I need to tweak it a little bit to play it at that level, but I don’t think I do. It’s one of my strengths and a big part of my one-day game.
“It is something I’ll keep doing.”
It is unfair to pigeon-hole Buttler as a one-trick pony, for anyone who has seen him play knows he possesses every shot in the book.
Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick once suggested his team-mate’s biggest strength was his ability to score at 360 degrees. It’s difficult to disagree.
To watch Buttler in full flow is to witness the kind of innovation mixed with brute power that England teams were starved of before Eoin Morgan came along.
That is a combination England look set to profit from for years to come, but, for now, Buttler is focussed on performing for Somerset, insisting that is the best way to ensure he stays on the minds of the selectors.
“I hope (to get another chance to play for England this summer),” he added. “It’s a fair way away, though, and I have got some time now with Somerset to really work on my game again.
“I need to keep on improving and international recognition comes from performing for Somerset at this stage, so that’s something I am really looking forward to.
“It’s been great to be back in pre-season around all of the guys and I’m looking forward to the new season.”
For all intents and purposes, it sounds like Buttler is relishing the chance to play again and maybe the opportunity to unfurl his signature shot once more.
The trepidation will have to stay with the bowlers.