Dhawal Kulkarni, Rajasthan Royals’ strike bowler, has observed Jos Buttler closely for the last two seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He admits the English batsman is a “special player” for Rajasthan Royals.
Buttler scored a 43-ball 89 in Royals’ four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Saturday at the Wankhede Stadium.
“Jos is a special player for our team and a knock like that changed the momentum of the game [and] brought us back in the game,” Kulkarni said after the contest.
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“He has been doing it consistently. Last year if you have seen, he has done that for us and this year also he is in a good form. It is really good and positive for us that he is playing that way,” Kulkarni added.
When Buttler gets going, it gets tough for bowlers to break his rhythm, contended Kulkarni. “International guys like Jos, or even if you see Sunrisers [Hyderabad] or other teams, its very challenging to bowl in the PowerPlay. But it is a challenge for a bowler like me. Jos is in phenomenal touch and I hope he keeps continuing that,” he said.
Being a bowler himself, he admitted that bowling to Buttler is “challenging,” even in the nets. “It is challenging to bowl [to Buttler in the nets] because he has got shots all over the ground but I take that as a challenge and improve my bowling,” Kulkarni said.
Despite Buttler’s knock of 89, Royals fumbled in its chase of 188. But Dhawal wasn’t inclined to read too much into it. The team eventually got home in the final over, for a four-wicket win.
He said, “That is what T20 cricket is all about. You have to cope up with the pressure and it is more about getting out of pressure rather than taking that pressure on yourself. And I feel Shreyas [Gopal] did a wonderful job for us, took the pressure completely off and help us win the game.”
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