Buttler targets happy ending
Wicketkeeper-batsman out to impress at Eden Gardens
Last Updated: October 27, 2011 4:47pm
Jos Buttler believes England have "one last chance" to salvage some pride from an otherwise forgettable tour with victory in Saturday's one-off Twenty20 international against India.
Buttler has been with the England squad throughout the nightmare sequence of five successive ODI defeats against world champions India, remaining in the country after Somerset's run to the Champions League semi-finals.
But the selectors made it clear from the outset he would not be available for selection until, as previously planned, he and opener Alex Hales come into contention for the tour-ending, one-off Twenty20 at Eden Gardens.
"We've got one last chance, nothing really to lose and an opportunity to express ourselves in the Twenty20 format."
Jos Buttler Quotes of the week
Buttler, 21, has been deployed as a substitute fielder and has therefore been with Alastair Cook's team at every venue as they have moved from defeat to defeat.
He appears unscarred by the experience, though, and is keen to grab his chance, if selected, to bat in the middle-order in the shortest format this weekend.
"Everyone's very determined," he said. "We've got one last chance, nothing really to lose and an opportunity to express ourselves in the Twenty20 format."
As for England's miserable ODI campaign, Buttler added: "Good experiences and bad experiences, if you use them correctly, can only benefit us in the future.
"You can learn a lot from the games. But that's gone now. We have a Twenty20 on Saturday; the fundamentals of cricket will be the same, and it will be down to who can adapt the best.
"You don't turn into a bad player overnight. There are some very good cricketers there; when you look to the future there are plenty of exciting young cricketers looking to push on."
Buttler's precocious talent, principally as a batsman but also a wicketkeeping prospect, has taken him a long way very quickly since he played the first of his 106 professional cricket matches to date little more than two years ago.
He is not taking his selection for granted, in what is likely to be a near 65,000 sell-out occasion on Saturday, but said: "Every opportunity you get to impress people like that, you've got to take.
"It is a challenge. It is probably the easiest job to get picked in the squad. But once you get picked, then you've got to try to perform at that level."
Buttler, and Jonathan Bairstow are waiting in the wings to replace Craig Kieswetter behind the stumps in limited-overs cricket - should the latter fail to nail down the position.
But Buttler has seen enough of county team-mate Kieswetter - who hit a run-a-ball 63 for England in Tuesday's embarrassing defeat in Kolkata - to expect great things.
"He's a fantastic player," he said.
"Having seen him at Somerset, I know what a quality cricketer he is - and it's a matter of time before he comes off again.
"He played brilliantly the other night at the top of the order, and I'm sure there's more of that to come."
All three wicketkeeper-batsmen will be fighting for potentially one spot in the limited-overs squads in the coming months and perhaps years, even though they can all expect to play this weekend.
"That's the way the wicketkeeper role has developed - you have to be more of a batsman," said Buttler.
"You've got people coming to the fore with their batting, who can also keep wicket.
"Jonny's been playing these five games just as a batsman.
"You've got the options, with everyone fighting for one spot potentially."