Jos Buttler hailed England's bowling attack on a day when they had to be cleared by the ICC of ball-tampering.
Buttler’s 55-ball big-hitting masterclass saw him finish 110 not out as the hosts enjoyed the perfect pre-World Cup tune-up against Pakistan in Southampton on Saturday. But footage on social media of Liam Plunkett paying close attention to a seriously-worn ball threatened to mar what had been an outstanding 12-run win.
On seeing the footage, Plunkett voluntarily spoke with match referee Richie Richardson and explained how he was simply rotating the ball in hands.
And the ICC were happy enough to release a statement that said: “The match officials are comfortable that there was no attempt to change the condition of the ball or any evidence of this on the over by over examinations of the balls throughout the game.”
Plunkett and David Willey took two wickets apiece and delivered three of the last five overs as England defended 373-3 to go 1-0 up in the series with three games to play. And even though Buttler claimed the man-of the match prize for his scintillating knock, he directed the glory towards the men who generally suffer in white-ball cricket.
“I thought the guys who probably won the game today were the bowling unit,” he said. “I thought Dave Willey bowled brilliantly there, those three overs on the bounce at the death, he executed his skills really well.
“We all know that around the world you get on these really good pitches, so I thought credit to our bowlers to create wicket-taking opportunities and close out that game.”
With the bat, the new father had only 15 overs to work his magic, but that is all he needs, and the performances are coming thick and fast, earning him justifiable comparisons with the consistently brilliant Virat Kohli.
Buttler, who admitted he can go even quicker than his current best 46-ball hundred, added: “That’s been a big part of the last few years to try to be more consistent. When you manage to do that a couple of times, it breeds the confidence that you can do it for an elongated period of time.
“It is about realising that you can keep doing it. There are other guys around the world who you watch and you’re very envious of. Joe Root is a great example in our own changing room of a guy who does it day in, day out.”
Source: Read Full Article