Jos Buttler looking to cement place in England's Twenty20 team after maiden 50
Last Updated: 05/02/13 8:37am
Jos Buttler spoke of his delight after finally registering his first half-century for England in their Twenty20 warm-up victory over a New Zealand XI.
The Somerset right-hander top-scored with an eye-catching knock of 57 not out as the tourists cruised home by 46 runs and Buttler insisted it had been the culmination of plenty of hard work.
The 22-year-old admits he is now targeting a prolonged run for England in the Twenty20 format having seemingly secured the role of wicketkeeper-batsman for the three-match series against New Zealand which gets underway on Saturday.
"It's obviously a proud moment," he said of his maiden half-century which took 21 international appearances to arrive. "I better not get too far ahead of myself - tomorrow is another day. But I'm looking forward to the series.
"I think I'm going to take the gloves for the series... definitely for the Twenty20s, so that's what I'm concentrating on at the minute. I'm really excited about it, and today's a good start.
"It's something I've been working really hard on. It's great to get this opportunity to do it. It's great to know that's what's happening. I can really put my mind on it, and work hard in training on it."
Buttler added real impetus for England towards the end of the innings with six fours and three sixes, but was quick to pay tribute to those ahead of him in the order for laying a solid foundation.
"I think as a blueprint for a batting plan, it was perfect," he added. "Wickets in hand at the end allow people to come in, as I did today, and score freely at the end.
"It was testament to the guys ahead of me. They realised it was a bit of hard work and, instead of playing any rash shots, they got through that hard period and built a brilliant position for me to come in at the end.
"It's the perfect way to set up a Twenty20 innings, for that explosive finish at the end."