England wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler said that he enjoyed watching India’s Rishabh Pant when India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia earlier this year. He added that he liked the way Pant switched gears between being aggressive and defensive while maintaining fearlessness.
Pant was the leading run-scorer in India’s 2-1 win over Australia, scoring 274 runs in five innings at an average of 68.50.
Buttler reached Australia along with other members of England team for the 2021/22 Ashes. After two weeks of mandatory quarantine, he will gear up for the five-match series starting from December 8 in Brisbane.
“One player I really enjoyed seeing play Tests in Australia was Rishabh Pant, when they won there last winter. I love the way he can change his game between the defensive side and aggressive sides, and be totally fearless. For any wicket-keeper who likes to be more positive, Rishabh is a good guy to watch — his mindset and commitment to his game plans, whether he’s attacking or defending,” wrote Buttler in his column for The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
Buttler stated that it will be important to adapt to the conditions in practice sessions as it is the first time he will be playing red-ball cricket in Australia.
“I’ve played one-day and T20 cricket in Australia but I’ve not played any red-ball cricket. So, it’ll be important, during the preparation phase in the nets and the warm-ups games, to try and understand conditions and work out what shots to play, how much the ball seams or swings and adapting to conditions. I don’t want to go to Australia with too many preconceived ideas.”
He terms the upcoming Ashes as the biggest challenge in his career as an England cricketer.
“That said, Australia is a place where lots of our guys have played in the Big Bash. The pace on the ball and the good wickets certainly suit a lot of players in our team. It will probably be the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in my career. Australia is the one tour that, as an English player, you want to experience, and it’s something to really relish and enjoy — even though it’ll be different without the travelling support. We’re expecting an intense atmosphere with grounds full of Australian fans.”
The 31-year-old, who scored 269 runs at an average of 89.66 in the T20 World Cup, signed off by saying he will try to continue with the fearless mindset from the mega event in the Ashes.
“I’ll be trying to take the same sort of fearless attitude I’ve had in the T20 World Cup into my red ball batting. That doesn’t just mean all out attack. But it’s taking away the worries about too many things — keep the game very simple and looking to put bat to ball.”