Jos Buttler targets quickest ton record after England hit the ground running with ODI victory over Pakistan
- Jos Buttler holds the England record for the fastest one-day international ton
- He took just 46 balls to reach a century against Pakistan in Dubai back in 2015
- But Buttler believes he is capable of bettering that record at the World Cup
- His career strike rate is highest of any batsman to have played 100 ODI innings
Jos Buttler believes he is in the kind of touch heading into this month’s World Cup that could see him break his own record for England’s fastest one-day international hundred.
The 50-ball effort in victory over Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday was four balls slower than his best against the same opposition in Dubai four years ago but England’s vice-captain feels his array of power and precision strokes are in tune to up the ante.
Asked if he felt he could improve on 46 deliveries, the 28-year-old was unequivocal in his response: ‘Absolutely. Definitely. When the opportunities arise, it gives you lots of confidence. We’ve seen other guys around the world show it’s possible.
England star Jos Buttler is in fine batting form heading into this month’s home World Cup
‘We’ve played on some great one-day wickets over the last few years in England. Traditionally, they’ve been high scoring, especially the ones here and at Trent Bridge.
‘It is really enjoyable when you can play in that fashion. It was a brilliant cricket wicket, for batting especially, we had a great platform set and it was great to go in in that situation.’
Buttler did not arrive at the crease until the 36th over but once again showed how seamlessly he moves through the gears from a standing start — his career strike rate of 119.88 is the highest of any batsman to have played 100 one-day international innings.
After witnessing the latest onslaught of six fours and nine sixes from the non-striker’s end, England captain Eoin Morgan was agog at Buttler’s improved rate of converting starts into three-figure scores. This was his fourth hundred in 21 visits to the crease, a period stretching back to the 4-1 series win in Australia at the start of 2018. His first four hundreds spanned 85 innings.
He holds England’s record for the fastest ODI 100 after his 46-ball ton against Pakistan in 2015
The man himself puts such a spike down to a period of greater maturity – off the field, he became a father last month and wife Louise and daughter Georgia were in the crowd in Southampton – in which he has developed a desire to emulate the regular productivity of others.
‘In the last couple of years, I’ve had some brilliant experiences. I’m really chasing that consistency and wanting to perform every day. When you manage to do that a couple of times, that breeds the confidence that you can do it for an elongated period of time,’ Buttler added.
‘That hundred I got in Sydney was probably the best I’d played in an England shirt. I wanted to build on that – and ride the back of that wave for all of last summer. There are other guys around the world who you watch and you’re very envious of. Joe Root is a great example in our own changing room of a guy who does it day in, day out. That was a big realisation for me that I should chase that more than I probably was.’
Buttler made 110 not out off 55 balls — again against Pakistan — for England on Saturday
While the batting appears in good fettle three games out from a World Cup England enter as favourites, it was arguably a concern that a Pakistan batting unit missing experienced duo Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik got to within a dozen runs of their 373 for three.
Not so, according to Buttler, who countered: ‘I thought the guys who won the game were the bowling unit. Dave Willey bowled brilliantly in those three overs on the bounce at the death. Pakistan were probably favourites for quite a bit of that (chase) with a guy 130-odd not out and looking pretty imperious. Credit to the guys for creating wicket-taking opportunities and closing it out.’
Jofra Archer, rested over the weekend, is likely to return in Bristol on Tuesday as England rotate their attack, with fellow paceman Mark Wood being held back until the matches at Trent Bridge and Headingley that complete a series England lead 1-0.
He hit nine sixes and six fours to help England to victory at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton
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