Cricket-Rajasthan's Buttler hopes to regain batting mojo in IPL playoff
Rajasthan Royals opener Jos Buttler is backing himself to regain his form heading into the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff against table-toppers Gujarat Titans, the Englishman said on Monday. Buttler is the league's leading scorer with 629 runs, including three hundreds, from 14 matches and has hit 37 sixes, which is the most by any batsman this season.
Buttler is the league's leading scorer with 629 runs, including three hundred, from 14 matches and has hit 37 sixes, which is the most by any batsman this season. But he is without a half-century in his last five knocks, which include three single-digit scores.
"I've obviously been delighted with my form in the IPL, but a bit disappointed with the last few games," the 31-year-old said ahead of Tuesday's playoff against Gujarat. "(In) the first half (of IPL) I was playing some of the best cricket I've ever played, and I'm still taking lots of confidence from that going into the playoffs," Buttler said.
Buttler's duel with Gujarat pace spearhead Mohammed Shami will be an interesting match-up considering the seamer's impressive powerplay records. "As a bowler, you should not be worried about things like who's the highest run-getter," Shami said when asked about his plans for Buttler.
"Everyone has a weak point and you can exploit that. You just need to back your skills and keep faith in yourself. "I'm never overawed by the reputation of the batsman I'm bowling too."
Gujarat's director of cricket Vikram Solanki said the team must continue the good work after finishing the league phase on top. "We can certainly be proud of what we've done but we must look ahead," the former England international said.
"The team will rely on what we've done in the group stages in order to get us through what we hope will be a successful knockout stage." The winners of Tuesday's qualifier will book a place in Sunday's final.
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