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Jos Buttler - IPL Blog 

7th April 2016 - Part 1

Losing the World Cup final to West Indies was painful for us all but joining the Mumbai Indians for the new IPL season has thrown me straight into something new and it’s an exciting time so it’s really helped me to move on.

We came a long way as an England side and you have to think it was a pretty successful tournament. The final seemed a long way off in Mumbai, chasing 230 in our second match against South Africa, having lost the opener against West Indies.  We found different ways to win and showed what a good side we are and how far we’ve come in a year.  We got in a position where we thought we were going to win the final and everyone was really hurt by that loss but we take that as a team. 

In my career that was my eighth final and my seventh loss so it would be nice to buck that trend but it was really tough to take.  In your head you’re thinking about what it might be like to win, to be on that platform with the trophy, and then it’s taken away from you and you have to watch the other team doing what you were so desperate to do.  All of the victory celebrations were really hard to take but it’s done now, the guys will learn and we’ll come back from that. For such a young side, with so much potential for growth, that hurt will probably stand us in good stead for when times get tough and we’ll be able to use that pain as motivation.  

Once we got back in the dressing room and shared a couple of beers, we were having a laugh and it just shows the atmosphere there is in the squad, that even after such heartbreak we were having a good time.  

That’s the trademark of the team over the last year, that we put in, try our best and enjoy it when we win and not get too down when we lose.  

We came so close and it was fantastic. Everyone stood up at different times and we’re on the start of something special as a team.

I still have the odd moment when I think about what it might have been like to win it but there’s so much going on for my first season in the IPL and so many exciting experiences and pinch yourself moments and plenty to keep me busy.

You’re always like a kid at Christmas when you get your new kit and it’s been surreal to have Ricky Ponting throwing balls at me in the nets.  He has been much as I expected.  He works hard, says it how it is and has a laugh as well.  He’s one of the greats of the game and loves helping the guys improve so I’m excited to spend an extended amount of time with someone of that quality and hopefully it can rub off on me and I can learn lots of things from him.

There are a couple of West Indies lads in the squad. I’m sitting next to Lendl Simmons in the dressing room and I’m just hoping he doesn’t play that Dwayne Bravo ‘Champion’ song because he takes his tunes around with him. As long as that one doesn’t come on then I don’t mind too much! 

I’ve watched a lot of IPL and you’re looking on with a lot of jealousy at the huge crowds and star-studded teams and think about what an amazing tournament it is. 

It’s always tough as an English player to find the right time to go and hopefully with the change in attitude towards white-ball cricket and the performances of the team, it will get franchises interested in English players.  It’s been around for nine seasons and it’s great to be here now.

One of the things that has surprised me is that I feel I’m straight into the team and have known people for a long time.  There are some great guys in the side that have made me feel very welcome and the franchise as a whole is keen on being a family team.  Everyone welcomed me and I’ve just got stuck in.  I just need to throw myself into it and the people that own the franchise and run it have been so welcoming.

The whole team stays in the same hotel and there are a few New Zealanders that I know a little bit from playing against a few times so I’ve been hanging around with them a bit but with everyone being in the hotel there are plenty of people to knock about with.  We went to the owner’s house the other night and they had a pre-season welcome.  The cake came out and some of the young Indian lads said it was an initiation that they spread cake all over our faces! That’s what they told me anyway!

I can’t wait for the atmosphere at the grounds. I had a little bit of a taste of it at the World Cup but everyone says the IPL is on another level so to play at grounds where you’ve got such fanatical support and in that atmosphere will be amazing.  I’m also really looking forward to playing with different players and playing against so many different players and because most of the teams stay in the same hotels you’ll come across guys from different teams and get to know people from around the world and just talk cricket. 

I’m looking forward to playing against Bangalore, especially at their ground, against the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.  I love watching Kohli and De Villiers bat and it will be great to see how the crowd there reacts to them.  Only four overseas players can play so I’ve got to get in the team to start with and once I know what sort of role I’m playing I can work on that. I’m sure it will be similar stuff and I’ll stick to my basics, in practice and preparation, and that will give me the best chance to perform. 

To get gloves made in the Mumbai colours by Kookaburra was just great.  It’s fantastic that the guys can do that for me and it just looks awesome with the kit.  When you get something that’s unique and one off it feels extra special. The kit looks great and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. 

The first game against Rising Pune Supergiants on Saturday has come around really quickly. Hopefully I’ll get the nod and I can’t wait to see a full house and play in my first IPL game. It’s another privilege of being a cricketer.  We’re reigning champions and they’ve retained a lot of the squad from last year. They’re always expected to be up there and challenging and that’s the goal for the whole team.

7th April 2016, Jos Buttler