Crediting the IPL for helping foreign batsmen acclimatise to Indian conditions and bowlers, England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler recently admitted that newcomers are likely to endure a tough time facing Jasprit Bumrah.
Only five of England’s 16-member squad announced for the first Two Tests against India have plied their trade in the IPL.
Jos Buttler, who plays for the Rajasthan Royals, acknowledged that having previously played in and against India holds the experienced guys in good stead. He was quick to caution the newbies against Bumrah’s “unique action”.
“If you haven’t faced guys before and somebody like a [Jasprit] Bumrah, who has a bit of unique action, it can be a bit of a problem. It takes some [time] getting used to it. Certainly, for the boys who have played international cricket before against India and played against [them] in the IPL, certainly know the angles and what to expect a little bit,” Jos Buttler said during a virtual press conference on Saturday (January 30).
“I think the thing that IPL does give you is familiarity with the wickets, and the guy having played against the majority of the guys, sort of understanding of their action and how they try and bowl,” he added.
England and India will square off in four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs, starting with the first Test in Chennai from February 5. Except for Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns – who already served their mandatory quarantine period – both sides are currently undergoing self-isolation and can start training only on February 2.
A place in the World Test Championship final, which is scheduled for June 18-22 this year, is still up for grabs. Sides all over the world have also got one eye on the T20 World Cup, which is set to take place in India in October-November.
While England are placed at the summit of the ICC T20 rankings, they haven’t played much T20 cricket of late. Jos Buttler highlighted the importance of the five-match T20I series against India, and reasoned that it’ll help them kickstart their preparation for the showpiece event.
“We had a very settled team during the ODI World Cup as guys played for a long period of time, and I think that was a huge plus for us going into the tournament. T20 side, we haven’t had that time to play together as a group and familiarity with roles, so to play against a brilliant side like India gives us the perfect preparation for that tournament,” Jos Buttler continued.
After the India tour, Joe Root’s side will play the shortest format in July – three T20Is against Pakistan at home – before travelling to Karachi for two more on October 14 and 15.