Jos Buttler unlocks another dimension

Dasgupta: Buttler's innings one of the best this season (2:35)

Deep Dasgupta lauds the England wicketkeeper-batsman for pacing Rajasthan Royals' chase of 177 on a slow Jaipur pitch (2:35)

All-star of the day

It was the one thing Rajasthan Royals had asked of Jos Buttler again and again - to be there at the end to finish the innings. It took four tries for that innings to come, even if they had no complaints about the returns on the last three. Four fifties in four innings, with the biggest score giving them a crucial two points as the qualification battles become front and centre.

It wasn't an innings too different from the last three, however. Once again, Buttler made a majority of his runs when the field restrictions were on and the ball was hard. To put it in numbers, he made his first 50 runs off 26 balls and last 45 in 34 balls - a clear slowdown in the second half. The difference, though, was that Buttler's presence in the middle allowed the middle order to accelerate earlier than they might have. With important contributions from Stuart Binny and K Gowtham, Buttler was more at ease through the middle overs as he maneuvered the field on a slowing pitch.

The rest of his innings was typically slap-dash. Lots of shots on the up behind square, plenty of tickles behind the stumps against spin and the scoops at the right time towards the end. It was a quintessential Buttler innings, with an unusual enhancement at the end. An innings he called his best ever in T20s.

Wow moment

With the way Chennai Super Kings' innings had ended, there was a lot expected of their spinners when they came out to defend 176. It was a grippy pitch and CSK had three spinners to try and exploit it. One of them, Harbhajan Singh, was tasked with getting Ben Stokes out.

While the veteran would eventually accomplish that target, he was first put on the back foot, when Buttler didn't allow him to bowl at Stokes. Instead, in the second over of the innings, Buttler took him for 14 runs with one shot standing out in particular. Off the fifth ball, Buttler exposed the stumps and swatted Harbhajan over the long-on boundary, despite a fielder being stationed there. It was as clean a lofted drive as you expect from him.

The numbers

  • Buttler had a control % of 100 against Super Kings' main spinners, Harbhajan and Ravindra Jadeja

  • Buttler made 56 percent of his runs on the off side; before this game, his career average for off-side runs was 45 percent

  • Buttler made more runs in the 'V' behind the stumps than in front of them - 21 through third man and fine leg as opposed to 16 at long-off and long-on


"Definitely [the best innings I've played in the IPL]. I have hit my straps and it's always special when you're not out."
Jos Buttler