Buttler: Rohit’s presence calms me down

Mumbai Indians batsman Jos Buttler acknowledged Rohit Sharma's calming influence when the two batted together to contribute to their side's victory against Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL game at Eden Gardens.

Jos Buttler struck three fours and three sixes in his 22-ball 41.   -  K. R. Deepak

Englishman Jos Buttler has said his Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma’s calm demeanour rubbed off on him as he played a part in their side’s comfortable six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL match here.

>Report: Rohit Sharma steers Mumbai Indians to six-wicket victory

>READ: Kolkata Knight Riders should have scored 200, says Manish Pandey

Rohit hit an unbeaten 84 while Buttler contributed a quickfire 41 (off 22 balls) in Mumbai Indians victory as the side bounced back last night from their defeat in the tournament lung opener. Crediting Rohit for calming him down, Buttler said, “It’s great to have Rohit at the other end. He’s a very calm character. He had everything under control, and the way he was playing he obviously had a lot of confidence that he will be there till the end and win the game.

“That obviously rubbed off on me that he was in such good form and was so calm, I think that got the adrenaline going. It really settled me down,” Buttler said at the post-match media conference.

'Nice to be back'

Buttler had faced a heartbreak when England lost to West Indies in the World Twenty20 summit clash here earlier in the month but he said he was happy to be back 10 days later in the colours of Mumbai Indians.

“Thanks for reminding me. It’s nice to come back and win (the IPL match). Obviously it was a huge disappointment. We were determined to bounce back well after the first game (against Pune), that was a fantastic run chase,” he said.

Playing in his maiden IPL after an excellent World T20, Buttler scored a duck in his debut against Rising Pune Supergiants but he turned it around in style against KKR last night, smashing a 22-ball 41 in a crucial 66-run partnership with Rohit. “In the World Twenty20, we played at the same venue a couple of times, so obviously did not experience all the conditions. Personally, I’ve been playing well for a few months.

“Coming into the World T20, I had a decent tour to South Africa in ODIs and T20s. Having played my first IPL game and seen what’s it all about there were less surprises today. I was sort of more focussed on cricket today as opposed to having that wall factor of the crowd and the razzmatazz of the IPL,” said Buttler.

Under pressure

Buttler admitted the Mumbai players were under pressure at the start of the match against KKR.

“We thought we were under pressure to perform tonight and they (KKR) scored a pretty big score. The fantastic opening partnership really laid the foundation to get there till the end, and it was a masterstroke to send in Mitchell McClenaghan. He got a few sixes away it really gave us some momentum,” he said, acknowledging the New Zealand left-hander’s eight ball-20, studded with three sixes.

Having received throwdowns from none other than the World Cup winning Australian captain Ricky Ponting the other day, Buttler said it really was an unreal feeling, something that played a key role in his impressive batting.

“You pinch yourself that someone like Ponting is throwing balls to you. It’s obviously one of the great things of IPL. To meet these guys, have a specific routine that I would like to go through before I bat is a key part. It builds my confidence. To have a guy like him doing that, passing on some information obviously makes you feel good and comfortable and is key to perform the next day.”

Asked about the pitch, he said it was pretty similar to the one they had during the April 3 World T20 final where both English and Windies teams struggled with their batting.

“It’s a pretty similar pitch. It played pretty similar. Both sides in World T20 final did not bat as they should have and lost early wickets, and it's hard to score a good score from there. But both sides had two good opening partnerships which helped to a better total,” said the 25-year-old.

“Ideally in T20, you want your top three to bat the majority of the balls. If you do that you generally get a good score, and pretty much there. Gambhir faced a lot of balls for them (KKR) and they scored a good total, and that’s a pretty good template in T20.”