Buttler refuses to trade on past glories
Jos Buttler’s record in limited-overs cricket could hardly be more impressive, but the Somerset batsman is aware his previous exploits will count for nothing if he fails to perform strongly this summer.
In 40 List A appearances to date, the talented 21-year-old, capped by England in a solitary one-day international and seven Twenty20s, has contributed 1,341 runs at a sensational average of 67.05, while also maintaining a strike-rate of 128.
Yet ahead of tomorrow evening’s opening Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture - which sees Somerset take on Surrey, their conquerors in last year’s Lord’s final - Buttler is determined not to rest on his laurels.
He told ecb.co.uk: “One-day cricket has gone really well for me. I’ve had quite a bit of success in it so far and I’ve got a decent record, but that counts for nothing now.
“It’s a fresh season and a fresh start. I’ve got to keep on trying to improve and keep on trying to win games of cricket for Somerset.”
Buttler is keen to transfer his success in limited-overs cricket to the first-class game, in which he currently boasts a more modest average of 33.
Yet he concedes his skills are probably more suited to the shorter formats at present.
“I’ve obviously had more success in one-day cricket than I have in red-ball cricket. That’s something I’m trying to put right and be more consistent throughout all forms of the game,” he said.
“One thing that probably helps me in one-day cricket is that the situation of the game is very easy to read, and it’s quite clear what is required of you. I’ve got a clear role in the Somerset side and having that clarity is something that has helped me.
“Twenty20 is feeding into one-day cricket, so guys will be a lot more innovative and a lot more attacking. You see some really high scores in 40-over cricket, so I think it’s important that you can play a variety of shots and score in different areas. Bowlers now are very skilful and have a lot of variation, so you have got to try and counteract that.”
After featuring in all four of his side’s LV= County Championship matches in April, Buttler is relishing the prospect of returning to CB40 action.
Somerset and Surrey face a stiff task in qualifying from Group B, which also features Durham, Glamorgan, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Scotland.
However, Marcus Trescothick’s side can take heart from having reached the final of the competition in each of the last two seasons.
“I think everyone is excited for the one-day format of the game to start again,” Buttler added.
“It’s going to be really tough (to reach the last four). We’re in a strong group with sides who play some really good one-day cricket, but at Taunton we think we are very hard to beat; we’ve got a good formula there.
“We’ve had some success in one-day cricket over the last couple of years so we are pretty confident.”
As for his team’s rematch with Surrey, Buttler said: “They beat us last year in the final and rightly so. I don’t think we performed very well.
“From our point of view there’s a bit of unfinished business and we have got to perform in this game. It’s the start of the competition and I think both sides will really want to put down a marker.
“We’ve got a few people out with injuries, which is unfortunate, but that presents a great opportunity for other guys to come in and perform.”