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Michael Holding
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Jos Buttler earns plaudits for batting display in fourth ODI between England and Australia

Buttler: Hit an unbeaten 65 not out to steer England to victory

Michael Holding praised the shot-making skills of Jos Buttler after the wicketkeeper-batsman steered England to victory in the fourth ODI in Cardiff.

Chasing 228 for victory, the hosts were in deep trouble after Clint McKay's stunning hat-trick left them on the ropes at 8-3, but Michael Carberry (63), Eoin Morgan (53) and young Somerset ace Buttler (65 not out) came to their rescue to level the NatWest Series at 1-1.

"Buttler can play the ramp shot and shots like that but he can also play proper cricket shots, fantastic shots."

Michael Holding

Renowned for his arsenal of creative shots, Buttler has made his name as an exciting limited overs batsman, but Sky Cricket expert Holding pointed out the 23-year-old has mastered the traditional strokes, too.

"He's a good player and he knows what he's doing," the former West Indies seamer told Sky Sports.

"He can play the ramp shot and shots like that but he can also play proper cricket shots, fantastic shots.

"He got fooled totally by the slow delivery from Mitchell Johnson today but he still maintained his cool - and he has the power to hit the boundary, too."

Things could have worked out differently for England had Australia capitalised on a number of opportunities in the field, though.

From dropped catches to missed throws, the tourists were, on several occassions, just inches away from vital wickets.

Buttler steals the plaudits

And Holding says had Buttler not successfully reviewed an LBW decision when he was given out on eight, Australia may have sealed a series win.

"England needed that successful review at that stage," he said. "I don't think they'd have made the runs if he'd been given out at that point.

"We know Ben Stokes can get runs and we know James Tredwell is no slouch, but neither of them can hit the ball as hard as Buttler and create confusion in the field and bowling department as he can."

Hat-trick

After England limited Australia to a modest score with the bat, McKay(4-39) appeared to have landed a killer blow to the hosts' hopes of victory when he dismissed Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root in successive balls - and former Australia international Greg Blewett credited the Victorian's skills with the new ball.

England v Australia 4th ODI - Holding Blog

"Australia knew with 227 on the board they had to get off to a good start," he said.

"McKay has been an outstanding player for Australia in one day cricket for a while now and he's a handful with the new ball.

"He got three very good players, with Pietersen, who was opening the batting, getting one that nipped back in, Trott, who flashed at a wide one, and Root caught at slip.

"The whole day it was hard work against the new ball but that was fantastic."

Close

The result sets up a fascinating conclusion to Australia's tour at the Ageas Bowl on Monday, the scene of Aaron Finch's record-breaking 156 in a T20 encounter between the sides.

However, Nasser Hussain reckons England have the momentum and belief heading into the decider and says they have shown an ability to edge close matches against their rivals all summer.

"I'm guessing Finch is looking forward to [the fifth ODI] after smashing 150-odd in the T20 game down there but I sense that England are on the up," he said.

"Even in the Test series, when it got close, England seemed to win. On the odd occasion, such as at Manchester in both the Test match and ODI, Australia outplay England but when it gets close Australia aren't getting over the line and that is something captain Michael Clarke will need to address."