IPL 11

Jos Buttler and the importance of getting the opening gambit right in the IPL

Rajasthan Royals were desperate so they decided to give the Englishman a go at the top of the order and, luckily, it clicked.

For the Rajasthan Royals, Jos Buttler was at it again. Again, because he got his fifth consecutive half-century, equalling the record IPL streak that belonged to Virender Sehwag. Again, because it was also his fifth consecutive half-century since being promoted to the opener’s slot.

This clearly is a position that gets the best out of Buttler. It gives him time to settle in and once he does – as he showed against the Mumbai Indians – he is a hard man to stop. He does not need to go nuts from the very first ball. He can but as opener he doesn’t need to.

He settles in, picks the bowlers he wants to attack and then all hell breaks loose. A look at his wagon-wheel shows he’s scored 64% of his runs in the region between backward square-leg & long-on. But he made sure, there were enough hits on the off-side to prevent him from become too predictable.

He is also a true-360 degree player but we haven’t seen that facet of the game come to the part yet. Some might argue that given his current form, he probably just needs to keep doing what he is doing.

Right now, Buttler isn’t just scoring runs. He is staying there till the end and finishing off games and his amazing run of form has come at just the right time for Rajasthan, If anything, one can’t help but wonder why he wasn’t being trusted to open the innings earlier in the tournament.

Have a quick look at his tournament so far:

120 runs in 7 matches while batting down the order

April 29 - 10

April 22 - 6

April 20 - 22

April 18 - 24*

April 15 - 23 runs

April 11 - 29 runs
April 9 - 6 runs

Then, he was moved to the opener’s slot.

389 runs in 5 matches since being elevated to the opener’s slot

May 13 - 94*
May 11 - 95*
May 8 - 82
May 6 - 51
May 2 - 67

The Englishman has now scored 509 runs in this season (the fifth most by any batsman) and his run of form has also coincided with Rajasthan making their way back up the points table.

Buttler’s run has been amazing but it hasn’t come out of the blue. He knows this format. Since the start of 2017, only Brendon McCullum has scored more runs in T20 cricket than Jos Buttler. Admittedly, not a lot of those runs had come in India but it was worth the risk in the early going.

Right now, it seems more like a last-ditch gamble. The Royals were desperate so they decided to give Buttler a go at the top of the order and, luckily, it clicked.

Having Rahane as opener is fine if the other opener is going great guns because, otherwise, it invariably leads to middling starts and you can’t have that. Openers always dominate the run-scoring charts in T20 and this season of IPL is no different.

There are five openers in the top 10 run-getters this season – KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Buttler, Suryakumar Yadav, Shane Watson. Unlike Tests or ODIs, where someone lower down the order can take their time to get set, in T20s only openers have that luxury. That also means that they can control the pace of the innings. If the opener gets it right, the chances of putting up a competitive total on board go up in a big way.

Buttler’s knocks only, once again, prove the importance of getting the opening gambit right: A point that Mumbai Indians should perhaps ponder over once more given that Rohit Sharma – their captain and accomplished international batsman – has scored just 267 runs in 12 innings.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Get ready for an 80-hour shopping marathon

Here are some tips that’ll help you take the lead.

Starting 16th July at 4:00pm, Flipkart will be hosting its Big Shopping Days sale over 3 days (till 19th July). This mega online shopping event is just what a sale should be, promising not just the best discounts but also buying options such as no cost EMIs, buyback guarantee and product exchanges. A shopping festival this big, packed with deals that you can’t get yourself to refuse, can get overwhelming. So don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why Big Shopping Days is the only sale you need, with these helpful hints and highlights.

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt (64 GB)

A host of entertainment options, latest security features and a 13 MP rear camera that has mastered light come packed in sleek metal unibody. The sale offers an almost 40% discount on the price. Moreover, there is a buyback guarantee which is part of the deal.

Original price: Rs. 17,900

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Samsung 32 inches HD Ready LED TV

Another blockbuster deal in the sale catalogue is this audio and visual delight. Apart from a discount of 41%, the deal promises no-cost EMIs up to 12 months.

Original price: Rs. 28,890

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 10,900

Intel Core I3 equipped laptops

These laptops will make a thoughtful college send-off gift or any gift for that matter. Since the festive season is around the corner, you might want to make use of this sale to bring your A-game to family festivities.

Original price: Rs. 25,590

Big Shopping Days price: Rs. 21,900


If you’ve been planning a mid-year wardrobe refresh, Flipkart’s got you covered. The Big Shopping Days offer 50% to 80% discount on men’s clothing. You can pick from a host of top brands including Adidas and Wrangler.

With more sale hours, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days sale ensures we can spend more time perusing and purchasing these deals. Apart from the above-mentioned products, you can expect up to 80% discount across categories including mobiles, appliances, electronics, fashion, beauty, home and furniture.

Features like blockbuster deals that are refreshed every 8 hours along with a price crash, rush hour deals from 4-6 PM on the starting day and first-time product discounts makes this a shopping experience that will have you exclaiming “Sale ho to aisi! (warna na ho)”

Set your reminders and mark your calendar, Flipkart’s Big Shopping Days starts 16th July, 4 PM and end on 19th July. To participate in 80 hours of shopping madness, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.