It was the case of so near, yet so far for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. They had one of the best foreign contingents in the Indian Premier League 2020 with Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, and Jofra Archer in the team. They fired but sporadically. They impressed initially with two wins at the start but then could not hold onto the momentum. The middle-order seemed to their Achilles Heel as the fall of quick wickets led to the pressure falling onto an inexperienced middle order.
Even though Rahul Tewatia performed admirably and won matches for his team but RR lacked someone to support him. And that someone, in the end, turned out to Buttler. The England wicket-keeper batsman batted as an opener initially but could not manage to get going. With the arrival of Stokes, RR’s first three batsmen became their most experienced batters.
So, Buttler revealed that he asked the RR team management to put him in the middle-order as it lends more balance to the tea. So Robin Uthappa moved upwards and Buttler became a middle-order mainstay for RR.
“It actually probably came from myself saying I didn’t think our team had the right balance,” Buttler told Sky’s IPL Cricket Show.
“I thought we were lacking a bit of experience in the middle, and I thought we were a bit top-heavy. [We were] losing games and it felt like there were a couple of games we didn’t quite close out when we were in good positions, and I felt like if we had had a bit more experience in that position, maybe we would have got over the line.
“Rahul Tewatia had a great season for us with the bat, being a bit of a finisher, but I felt like a more experienced guy alongside him would have balanced our team a bit better. It was an offering, really, from myself to say: I haven’t had the runs I’d have liked at the top and I’m quite happy to move. I thought for our team, it looked a better balance having a more experienced player in the middle as well.”
Buttler batted for five innings in the middle order and made 160 runs. But he was unable to power RR to the playoffs.
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