Why Buttler can't stop gushing about IPL

Rajasthan Royals' spin-bowling coach Sairaj Bahutule says the England wicketkeeper-batsman is richer for the Indian T20 league experience, having toiled for hours at the team's Jaipur nets.

Jos Buttler is the man in-form for England ahead of the five-Test series against India.   -  AP

When on tour, Jos Buttler binges on protein bars and shakes. Oh, he also drools over steak. But the Indian Premier League (IPL) perhaps reset his view of India. The Somerset boy started liking paneer. More importantly, he learnt the art of tackling spinners on Indian soil.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman's Rajasthan Royals stint turned out to be wealthy in several departments and ahead of the Test series against India, Buttler can’t stop gushing. “I feel like I have learnt a hell of lot from watching guys train and go about their practice, ways they react to certain pressure moments in a game as well,” he told journalists on Sunday.

Buttler had earlier revealed his admiration for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli. In the last few weeks, Buttler didn’t leave a press conference without talking IPL.

Read: 'Currently, Buttler is better than Dhoni in white-ball cricket'

What is it that he gained from the Royals that he can't stop thanking them?

“I think the amount of practice,” Sairaj Bahutule, former India cricketer and spin bowling coach of Royals, told Sportstar on Monday.

Buttler, to his advantage, had the opportunity to test his skills against Indian spinners and learn the art of length and angles. This is what he took back home, where he pitched for a Merlyn spin-bowling machine in the England training session during the limited-over series.

England bounced back against Kuldeep Yadav, who tormented the batsmen throughout the T20I tournament, to win the One Day International series 2-1.

Playing different bowlers, all the time

“We had lots of bowlers, including spinners, bowling to him (Buttler) in Jaipur conditions. It is a small ground, plus there was a bit of centre-wicket practice. He used to bat quite a bit in the nets and played different bowlers all the time. What we did was try to help him with many bowlers and create different conditions, as much as possible,” said Bahutule.

England chief selector Ed Smith decided to choose Buttler for Tests on three attributes — form, impact and personality.

Read: Buttler wants to draw inspiration from Kohli in Test series

Bahutule has had a ringside view of these attributes. “I think Buttler is a very clear-minded person. His thought process is clear. He knows what he wants. His game is very clear-cut. He has got the ability to play all the shots. He backs himself to play all the shots. He is brave and doesn’t doubt himself at all.

“His work ethics are very good. He knows exactly how much he wants to bat at the nets and how many throwdowns he would need. It is reflecting in the way he has been playing,” said Bahutule, adding, “Test match is different from the shorter versions and the conditions in England are different. His patience will be tested.”

Buttler believes all IPL friendships will be forgotten on the field in the Test series against India. But, once he sweeps an Ashwin [Ravichandran] or a Kuldeep for a boundary, he may just thank the Royals silently.

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