IPL 2022: India has become my second home, says Buttler

Jos Buttler, one of the three players retained by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the auction, is excited to be back in India for the IPL.

Jos Buttler bats at a Rajasthan Royals nets session. - RAJASTHAN ROYALS

Jos Buttler was one of the casualties of England’s disastrous Ashes tour down under. He was among the several big names dropped for the West Indies tour.

With the IPL, Buttler has an excellent opportunity to put all that behind him. He must be hoping to continue his romance with the tournament in which he boasts a splendid record – 1,968 runs from 65 matches at an average of 35.14 and a strike-rate of 150.

Buttler, one of the three players retained by Rajasthan Royals ahead of the auction, is excited to be back in India for the IPL.

“Anytime you turn up in India for the IPL, there’s this sense of excitement and a real buzz around the tournament, so it's great to be back in the country,” he said. “It has become my second home. I’ve spent a lot of time here, and the friendliness of the people and the passion for cricket always tends to blow my mind away.”

‘Flattered’

He said he was flattered that he was retained by Royals. “There were only a certain number of players that could stay with the franchise so it was quite flattering to have been offered to be retained,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing for this franchise and have had some really enjoyable memories. Obviously I knew the franchise had placed their trust in me, along with Sanju (Samson) and Yash (Yashasvi Jaiswal).

“There were a lot of conversations that happened before the auction, and we were just focused on trying to create a strong team, covering all bases that you need to win the tournament. Another aspect was how brilliantly my family and myself have been looked after – it is quite rare, so I’m really thankful to everyone here (at Royals).”

‘Exciting time’

Buttler is hopeful about the new Royals squad. “It's a really exciting time for the team you know, to start a new cycle and build a new team,” he said. “The aim here is to win the IPL, and I can’t wait to contribute to that. We are delighted to have so many great players in the squad.

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“Obviously, (R.) Ashwin and (Yuzvendra) Chahal are two of the best spinners in the world, and with a great pace attack, I think it’s really exciting. Then we’ve got ourselves a strong batting line-up, along with great all-round options, so I think it’s going to be a really exciting IPL for us.”

Jos Buttler (left) with Lasith Malinga (c) and Sanju Samson. - RAJASTHAN ROYALS

 

He said he was particularly looking forward to connecting with Chahal. “I’ve played against him a few times, and he seems to be that fun character in the team. So, I’m looking forward to having him on my team. There’s also (Devdutt) Padikkal, who scored a hundred against us last year. I think he looks like a fantastic young player so I’m excited to have him here.”

Looking back at the Ashes, he said it was a disappointing campaign for his team. “I think I’ve played a lot of cricket in the last few years, and have spent a lot of time in bubbles,” he said. “It was a disappointing campaign in the Ashes, which finished with a broken finger for me. Post that, I haven’t touched cricket at all – I’ve got a young family, so I had the time to relax and enjoy with them.”

He said it was important to do something different from cricket. “It sort of brings that extra motivation and excitement when you haven’t played for a bit,” he said. “Of course I enjoy my fitness, but I think it was important to put my cricket kit away for a bit. Now coming into an important year, both in the IPL and then the T20 World Cup, I feel really fresh and full of confidence.”

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