Rajasthan Royals’ opening batsman Jos Buttler rued the failure of the top-order of his side that has led them to lose the last three games, after his side’s loss to the Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday, 6 October.
When asked if there’s a game plan from Steve Smith and Sanju Samson to attack from ball one, Buttler denied it saying the field restrictions are an important time to take advantage of but unfortunately, they haven’t been able to come off in the last three games.
"We’ve lost three wickets in the powerplay a few times, and in T20 cricket you never win too many games from that position." - Jos Buttler, Wicket-keeper Batsman, RR
After smashing the bowlers to all parts of the ground in their first two games at Sharjah, RR batsmen haven’t been able to score that many runs in the powerplay. In the last three games, they have lost their top three batsmen at the scores of 39 (6.1 overs) against Kolkata Knight Riders, 31 (4.1 overs) against Royal Challengers Bangalore and 12 (2.5 overs) against the Mumbai Indians on Tuesday.
Elaborating what went wrong, Buttler said that they just kept losing wickets. “Mumbai, I thought bowled really well and we never got into our innings. As a batsman, you’re always vulnerable early on in your innings. As a top-order, we didn’t manage to counter-act their opening bowling well enough to get through that period and into the game.”
RR made three changes in their line-up with 18-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal coming back into the side. Opening with Buttler, he knicked a Trent Boult outswinging delivery into the hands of the keeper. It started a procession as incoming Steve Smith and Sanju Samson couldn’t stay for long and folded inside the first three overs.
However, Buttler himself stayed long as the sole warrior for the RR side, before falling prey to the juggling act of Kieron Pollard on the boundary. Asked about his innings, the 30-year-old England batsman said that he is still finding his form. However, he was thankful that he got to spend some time in the middle and found some fluency after the initial struggle. He hoped he can take confidence from Tuesday’s knock of 70 (44) and use that for the rest of the tournament.
Buttler appreciated the fast bowler Kartik Tyagi, who made his debut and dismissed Quinton de Kock in his first over.
Asked about the focus areas for his team moving ahead, Buttler said that they need to sort out the problems with their top-order and replicate their success from the first two games and play well as a group.
Rajasthan Royals will play their next game at their happy hunting ground in Sharjah, where they have won two out of two, against the Delhi Capitals on Friday, 9 October.
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