Australia are staring down the barrel of a series whitewash in their T20 tour of England after a Jos Buttler masterclass.
In their first series since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australians have been dismantled by Buttler and see themselves 2-0 down.
Buttler has plundered 121 off just 83 balls in the first two games leading England to a T20 series-clinching victory in Southampton.
Australian fast-bowler Mitchell Starc spoke about Australia’s ability to stop the in-form keeper-batsmen.
“He’s someone we’re going to have to plan for for the third game, and obviously the one-dayers as well,” said Aussie quick Mitchell Starc, with three ODIs in Manchester to follow Tuesday’s third T20.
“When you get someone striking the way he has for the last two games, it’s obviously powerful for T20 cricket in such a short format. We’ll have to chat as a group tomorrow.”
Buttler is pleased with his elevation up the order to open the batting, a position that has plenty of candidates in the England team.
“It probably is my favourite position to bat in T20 cricket,” admitted Buttler after England’s six-wicket win. “I’ve had most of my success in T20 at the top, but that’s natural – if you bat in the top three in T20, it’s the best place for everyone.
“We’ve probably got eight or nine guys who’d stick their hand up to bat in the top three; I’m very happy there, but I’m also very happy to do whatever the team needs of me.”
Australia’s greatest ever bowler Shane Warne believes that there is no real weakness in Buttler’s white ball game.
“It’s the perception of what he could do that upsets the bowlers,” Warne told Sky Sports. “If you’re a bowler standing at the top of the mark you’re thinking, ‘What is he going to do?’.
“The key to his batting is the way he hits the ball, he hits it all round the ground. There’s no particular weakness to his batting, and when you don’t have a weakness, it’s hard to come up with a plan to bowl to him.”
“You thought the spinners were going to be the key in the middle overs, but they just couldn’t get that done – that was due to Buttler’s brilliance,” Warne continued.
Starc acknowledged Buttler’s ability to challenge bowlers plans for him.
“In terms of structuring an innings, our batters are going to have their own plans and play their own way,” said Starc.
“I don’t think we have too many who bat exactly like Jos. He’s someone who moves around the crease a lot, something Smithy (Steve Smith) does I guess.
“In terms of an opener batting through and being quite destructive through the power play and then getting the team home like he did today – that’s probably what you want your opening batters to do.”