JOS BUTTLER - IPL BLOG
13th May 2016
It’s been a very busy few weeks so it was nice to have a break for nine days. I went to Goa with my girlfriend Louise. We stayed in a great hotel on the beach and spent some relaxing days out of the hustle and bustle of Mumbai.
It was soon time to get back to the action. Unfortunately it was a very poor game with our defeat to the Sunrisers at our new home of Vizag. It was a different venue and something we need to get used to fast if we’re going to qualify for the play-offs. We’ve got two games coming up in Vizag over the next three days and we have to take a good performance in Bangalore, with the win over the Royal Challengers, back to our new home stadium.
The wicket for our first game was actually very good. In all three departments we had a bad game. The Sunrisers got 177 which is a good score. It’s Pune’s home ground now too and having watched one of their games it looked like the ball spun a lot and the Sunrisers defended 120 or 130. We’ll have to see what the wicket will be like and play accordingly.
It was a fantastic knock in Bangalore. I’d played there a couple of times in the Champions League with Somerset so I knew what the atmosphere was going to be like and that was great. It was probably our most complete performance as a side and definitely the best we’ve fielded in the tournament. Against such a star-studded team was a really impressive bowling performance on a wicket that was probably a bit slower than many expected. To restrict them to 151 was great and it was brilliant to get a few at the end and be not out with Kieron Pollard. It takes a lot of pressure off you knowing he can hit them out of the park as well. When I came in I tried to get him on strike but it was a good situation to go in. I’ve probably put too much pressure on myself throughout the tournament and this time I just had to go for it straight away and take it on and that’s a period of the innings where I like to bat. I know I can put a lot of pressure on the bowlers with the options I’ve got. Throughout the tournament there haven’t been many scores defended. It was probably quieter than usual and we did well to keep their big players quiet.
It’s something I’ve noticed throughout the tournament, when these guys come out to warm up or they’re on the big screen, the reception they get, Sachin comes to watch the games and every time he comes on the screen the crowd goes crazy.
I’ve had some good conversations with Neil Fairbrother and Paul Farbrace telling me to start enjoying it again and relax. As soon as you do that you start to take in the atmosphere a bit more as opposed to trying to focus all your energy on the cricket. I really enjoyed it.
Lancs have played fantastically well and they could be three wins from three because they played brilliantly down in Taunton as well. From reading a few things and hearing from the lads, people had written them off, saying they’re going down again and that seems to have motivated everyone and there seemed to have been a lot of runs scored.
It’s fantastic for Liam Livingstone to get a hundred in his second game and the lads are putting their hands up and playing well.
The Test squad for Sri Lanka has been announced and it’s a really exciting one with a lot of confidence after South Africa. It’s fantastic for James Vince and Jake Ball to be in. I’m especially pleased for Vincey because he’s someone I’ve grown up with, played a lot of cricket with and he’s also a good mate. He’s been knocking on the door for a long time, everyone knows how good he is and it’ll great to see him showcase that talent at Test level. Everyone is in fantastic form. Cookie, Rooty and Jonny Bairstow have been in the runs so it’s an exciting time for English cricket.
13th May 2016, Jos Buttler