Kookaburra

Jos Buttler Exclusive

Jos Buttler - IPL Blog 

21st April 2016.

My first few weeks in the IPL have been everything I expected and more.  The crowds have been louder than I could ever have imagined!

Even though there are so many people around and it’s so deafening, when you’re on the pitch it’s quite a lonely place because you can’t really communicate with anyone apart from hand signals.  The constant noise and your own thoughts are all there is in your head.

In our third game, Gujurat needed 11 off the last over and I’ve never known noise like it as the crowd cheered on Jasprit Bumrah.  I’ve experienced something like that when I’ve been playing against India for the England Team but to have the crowd cheer us on in the Mumbai Indians side was just incredible.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting used to the IPL really.  I was almost a bit in awe of what was going on around me to start with but having seen it a little bit more I now feel settled and can focus more on the cricket rather than the wow factor.   It’s a little bit like when I first played International Cricket because you have to get used to everything around it when you’re first called up.

We’ve had some tough games and probably haven’t quite started quite as well as we’d have liked to and I could say the same personally as well.   I had one good knock in Kolkata with 41 against Kolkata Knight Riders and got going again on Wednesday night when it would have been good to finish off the game but I’m still feeling in good form so hopefully a big score is just around the corner.

I was really disappointed to start the way I did, not making any runs against the Supergiants.   I really wanted to make a good impression but I’m learning about the expectation that’s put on you as an overseas player.  You’ve got to deal with that and be able to perform and also when you play for a new team you want to have a performance where you earn the respect of the dressing room and guys see you do it for the team.  It was a bit of an anti-climax really but you’re going to have good days and bad days and if you practice and prepare well, you give yourself the best chance to perform and then you’ve just got to go out and play and what will be will be.

There’s so much expectation on Mumbai as a franchise, having won it twice, and it’s something you’re always very aware of.  You don’t get abuse on Twitter but people remind you that they want you to perform and do well for the team - the following is amazing.

On the day of the game you come down from the lift and the hotel lobby is packed with people trying to get a glimpse of someone like Rohit (Sharma) or Harbhajan (Singh).  Outside the hotel there are hundreds of people there to see the bus leave. - especially in the last game with (AB) De Villiers and (Virat) Kohli in the opposition.  The following these guys have in India is incredible.

It was a fantastic game.  To face both AB and Virat in the same team is a daunting prospect for the opposition.  I am a big fan of both players but Krunal Pandya bowled fantastically well and got them both out in the same over which was a turning point in the match.

We’re starting to get a bit more settled.  Mumbai have traditionally been slow starters, as everyone says, but in the whole competition the side that bats first has only won once out of the whole tournament so the toss is crucial. We’re getting into our stride and we’re getting stuck into it.

I kept in the first game but I’m not keeping at the minute.  It’s been fine and I got used to it early in my career although I’m a bit more nervous because I haven’t done it in the out-field for a while.  I’ve been batting at four which is fantastic and I’ve been in in the Power Play a couple of times because we’ve lost early wickets. That’s something that’s pretty new to me so I’m making sure I’ve got the game plan in place for that.

It’s great to have Martin Guptill with us now.   It was a huge surprise to everyone that he wasn’t picked up in the auction so it’s brilliant to have him here.   His new Kookaburra ‘Dynasty’ stickers have just arrived and are in Mumbai colours, which is he is very excited about.  It’s good to see him, and with the form he’s been in over the last 12 or 18 months, he’ll take his chance when it comes.

We’ve been busy travelling and playing so we haven’t been out doing much - although I did manage to play nine holes in Kolkata with Mark Ramprakash.  If you go down to the bar or the lobby in the evenings there are always lots of players around and it’s fantastic to rub shoulders with all these different guys. 

It will be another tough challenge in Delhi on Saturday. The wicket will be a bit more traditional Indian than we’ve been playing on and it’s an afternoon game so we’ll have to get used to the heat. I’ll have to get up a bit earlier than I have been because I haven’t been getting up until two or three in the afternoon with the games starting at 8. When you don’t get back to the hotel after the games until 1 a.m. you’re still buzzing from the game and don’t sleep until four or five in the morning so I’ve almost been staying on English time.   I’ll have to make sure I don’t miss the bus! 

21st April 2016, Jos Buttler