Buttler relishing Proteas test

Jos Buttler believes England face their toughest limited-overs challenge of the last 12 months in the upcoming one-day international series against South Africa.

Since Eoin Morgan’s side overhauled their approach to white-ball cricket last spring, England have beaten World Cup runners-up New Zealand, been pipped in the decisive rubber by champions Australia and thrashed Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

Buttler believes the Proteas will prove an equally tough nut to crack, but insists England won’t modify their free-spirited approach.

“I really enjoy this format of the game as well as the t20s, so I’m really excited about what’s going to be a really good series,” Buttler told ecb.co.uk.

“We’ve had some great challenges as a side recently with New Zealand, Australia, and Pakistan away, so this will probably be the biggest challenge of them all – a really good side in their own back yard.

“We’ll play as we have done all the way through, free-spirited and take it head on and try and push the boundaries of everything we can do.”

Buttler has been in South Africa since before Christmas, but was an unused member of the Test squad as Jonny Bairstow impressed in the wicketkeeper/batsman role.

However, the Lancashire keeper is a pivotal cog in England’s one-day machine, having hit the three fastest ODI centuries in his country’s history.

Asked how the change of format has altered the approach during training, Buttler added: “Obviously there are some different faces, some better footballers.

“It’s been good fun; it’s great to get everyone back together.

“The nets are a bit different – there are a few more balls flying all over the place.

“The training is obviously very similar, the intensity has been really high today with a lot of guys excited to get going and ready for the match tomorrow.

“The guys who have been playing in the Tests I think they’re ready for a change of format and looking forward to the white ball, and obviously the guys who have come from the Big Bash and training in England, they’re delighted to be here and looking forward to what’s going to be a fantastic series.”

On how he was feeling after a month sidelined from he action, Buttler continued: “It’s a bit different – you feel a part of the team but obviously when you’re not out there playing in the matches you’re not quite as much a part of it as you want to be.

“It’s been a great learning curve for me watching some fantastic players on both sides and having that time to reflect on what I can do and what I can improve on in my game.

“I’m raring to go now and I really want to play some cricket.”

Source: ECB

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