England’s Jos Buttler admitted that he had been under pressure after a lean patch with the bat going into the third Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton about playing under the spotlight and dealing with chat about his place across social media, Buttler, who scored his second half century in 24 innings, said, “Naturally (I was fretting). I think time in the middle gives you confidence and I haven’t been doing that. When you are not performing as well as you want, you realise you are not doing your job as well as you should do for the team. I am definitely feeling that pressure, I have played long enough now to understand when the pressure comes on your shoulders and hopefully the best way to deal with it.”
“Twitter and Instagram are two things I am on but I don’t have the settings on where I can see what people are saying about me. When I started it was understanding the media pressures of newspapers etc but now you have social media. It is a big challenge of international cricket at the moment.”
He continued, “I am aware it is there and that people will have been talking about my game but [reading it] doesn’t help me play better. I need to focus on myself and the processes that allow me to play well. Whether you’re playing well or badly there are always going to be people talking about you on social media, it’s about understanding it’s not as big as you may think it is in the grand scheme of things.”
“I try and remind myself that when I watch a game of football and make a throwaway comment about a bad pass or someone missing an open goal, it’s no different to people talking about my game.”
Buttler, who has the record of the fastest ODI hundred by an Englishman (46 balls), admitted that he needs to adapt his game in the longest format and has been working hard on his defence technique and playing the on drive in practice.
Buttler, whose only Test hundred so far came against India at Trent Bridge in 2018, said, “Lots of people expect me to play a certain way because of the way I play in One Day cricket but I’ve never seen Test cricket that way, I don’t think it’s necessarily possible to play in that fashion.”
“(Trusting my defence) is incredibly important. Anytime I’ve had success in Test cricket it’s been based around that. I must have enough trust in myself and my defence. It’s something I work hard on preparing for Test matches. Also leaving the ball well, when I’m doing that, that’s when I feel at my best.”
“I spent a lot of time in the nets before this game hitting on-drives – it’s probably the hardest shot for me to hit. To practice that gives me a lot of confidence and focuses my balance and head position. Everything needs to be in good working order for me to be able to hit on-drives and that allows the rest of the game to play,” he concluded.