Coming back to the England fold for the white-ball leg of their ongoing tour, Jos Buttler highlighted the importance of the upcoming five-match T20I series as he feels success in these matches will keep the visitors in good stead when they return to India for the T20 World Cup later this year.
“This T20I series is hugely important. Also, it’s a great benefit for us to be able to play in Ahmedabad, a stadium which will probably play a big part in the (T20) World Cup,” the flamboyant wicketkeeper-batsman said during a virtual media interaction on Tuesday.
“It’s a big advantage for us to learn about this stadium and its conditions, and as a white-ball side in general. Because, it’s in these conditions that we generally struggle, with pitches getting slow and the ball taking more spin… So we need to be having a different game plan for that.
“I don’t exactly know how the wickets play in this stadium, but we’ll get more exposure as a group for sure.”
A series win, Buttler agreed, could help Eoin Morgan and Co. make a statement of intent ahead of the T20 World Cup. However, India would still be the favourites in the T20 mega-event, Buttler believes. “There are a number of excellent teams out there, but the last few World Cups have seen host nations performing really well. Besides, India are strong in all formats, so I see them as the favourites.”
Like a few other England players, Buttler may also miss the first Test versus New Zealand — set to begin on June 2 — as he too is an integral part of his IPL franchise (Rajasthan Royals) and is expected to play till the end of his team’s campaign. The IPL final is fixed for May 30.
He agreed that he could “potentially” miss the first Test. “I think it’s streaky scheduling at the moment.
“The IPL holds its slot, and New Zealand Tests were added quite a bit late. It’s always going to be bittersweet if you are missing games for England or whatever opportunities you are missing,” he said, adding: “We all know the benefits of the IPL, it’s monetary rewards are obvious as well as the experience you gain.
“Besides, the upturn in results in white-ball games for England are helping our players.”