Star English wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is hoping to draw inspiration from rival skipper Virat Kohli in the upcoming five-match Test series between India and England starting 1 August. Buttler also said he would use his Indian Premier League experience to earn his maiden Test century.
“Someone like Virat Kohli is an immensely talented guy but also watching him go about it you see that mentality of getting to the top. They seem to make the right decision a lot of the time. That is a skill,” Jos Buttler told reporters at The Oval.
“The hunger to do it day in day out…that hunger really shines through in those top players.”
Buttler played for the Rajasthan Royals during this year’s IPL scoring 548 runs at an average of 54.80 with the help of five half-centuries including two unbeaten 90s.
“The biggest thing I have learnt from the IPL is that it’s obvious what the best players do and why they are the best players and standouts,” said Buttler.
“They just have a different mentality, a winning mentality in every game and the consistency to do that. I feel like I have learnt a hell of lot from watching guys train and go about their practice, ways they react to certain pressure moments in a game as well,” he added.
Riding on his imperious form at the IPL, Buttler made a successful return to Test cricket, scoring back-to-back fifties, during the recent 1-1 drawn home campaign with Pakistan.
Buttler’s highest Test score is 85 that he made on debut against India four years ago and he would look to reach his maiden three-digit figure in this series which begins with the first Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
“It is the ultimate aim, I would love to achieve that feat,” the 27-year-old said.
“I have good memories against India but it is about reinforcing the enjoyment factor and the incredible opportunity to play Test cricket.
“For those two games against Pakistan, I was not sure how it would go but I approached them in a great manner and it is important for me to do that going into this series.”
Ahead of the tour, Kohli, who had captained Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes at Royal Challengers Bangalore, said that the relations between the teams improved due to IPL.
But Buttler believes all friendships will be “forgotten” on the field during the series.
“There are a few guys I have played with. Naturally you have friendships with them but on the field they seem to be forgotten and everyone is competitive.”
“There is a lot more familiarity between the sides than there ever has been before. Not on the pitch but maybe on the training days and around the lunch room. Moeen played with Virat at RCB and [Yuzvendra] Chahal. I have played with Hardik Pandya at Mumbai so you are open to having a chat.
“I am sure there will be moments in the Test series, especially on the field, when those things look like they have been forgotten. It will be highly competitive.”
Buttler feels a Test series against India is almost as important as the Ashes.
“Absolutely, it is a huge series. India are a fantastic team, in all conditions as well now. Australia is a huge series for England, but in this day and age India are not far behind,” he said.
-With PTI inputs.