Jos Buttler knew Australia’s game plan, was ready to inflict blows: Ex-Aus spinner


Former Australian spinner Bryce McGain has said that England wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler — the one-man demolition army whose 32-ball unbeaten 71 left Aaron Finch’s team in a daze — had sized up the opposition bowling much before they had taken the field for the big-ticket ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12’ clash on October 30.

Buttler’s complete domination of the Australian bowling, wherein he smashed five towering sixes and an equal number of boundaries as his strike rate touched a mind-boggling 222, indicated that he had done his homework on the Australian bowlers, as England crushed their arch-rivals by eight wickets chasing down the total in 11.4 overs.

“We got flexed on, didn’t we?” McGain, who played one Test and has taken 101 First-Class wickets, said on SEN Breakfast on Monday. “One of the really good T20 nations, and they really flexed on us, we were comprehensively beaten in all departments. They bowled superbly, they didn’t allow our batsmen to get going and we can have a look at the team selection.

“But, when they batted, fair dinkum, Jos Buttler he went bananas, he knew our plans… we were just going to bash a length, it was so public, all he did was just skip down and launch us into the top deck of the stands. It really was a wake-up call, we can’t afford to slip up another one, because we’ll be out. Our net-run rate got demolished, that could be the difference in these tight groups,” added McGain.

The former Australian spinner said that his team didn’t have a “clear plan” going into the match against the 2010 T20 World champions, adding that Australia must “find out what formula they’re going with” to progress in the tournament.

“This is the difficulty with Australia at the T20 level, we don’t know what our formula is or we don’t know what our game plan is. It changes all the time, he (coach Justin Langer) is the one that shares that information that, ‘We’re going to play the extra bowler’. Maybe in conditions they felt, ‘Oh we need the extra bowler and the batting conditions are fine, we’ll trust our batters’.

“They’re in the best position to make that call, but it flips and it flops. This is now the World Cup, you’ve got to be a fine-tuned machine,” added McGain.

Some ‘strange’ selection decisions by the team management have also been criticised by spin wizard Shane Warne. Mitchell Marsh was omitted for the England match as the coach opted for an extra bowler in in Ashton Agar, while a struggling Steve Smith was also give a place in the XI.

“I think they may have to go back and have Mitch Marsh. They tried without it, they wanted the extra bowling option in the all-rounder Ashton Agar batting down the order. Now he did well… he wasn’t disgraced and he did his job, he’s fitting in where he can. But I would suspect they do need early firepower hitting in the powerplay and that’s the role it appears Mitch Marsh would do that role at number three, and if we get off to a good start, that’s fine use him later on,” added McGain.