A good few players try the ramp shot these days, but few score as great a proportion of their runs with it as Jos Buttler. At times he seems unaware the pitch has sides, creating a two-spoked wagon wheel behind bowler and wicketkeeper.
The Buttler version of the ramp is an astonishing thing even when you consider that it is a pretty ridiculous shot at the best of times. He doesn’t hit the ball so much as lay his bat down like a makeshift trampette. In that sense, it really is a ramp and he has to get his angles right.
With the area behind the keeper becoming such a viable boundary target, it makes his innings even more heavily focused on the battle between him and the bowler. The fielders are merely signposts indicating where Buttler isn’t going to try and hit the ball. Singles and twos are almost taken out of the equation. As the bowler runs in, the possible outcomes can seem to be limited to either a boundary or his dismissal.
And the other bit
At some point during his innings, someone on commentary (we’ve no idea who, but let’s say it was Nick Knight) implied that those who supported Matt Prior’s case for inclusion in the one-day side must now be having second thoughts. This was moronic, because what Buttler was doing at the time was something known as ‘batting’.
As far as wicketkeeping goes, Buttler is not what you would call ‘a wicketkeeper’. We’re led to believe he has great potential, but at the minute he looks clumsy and unreliable even to our eyes and we know nothing about the art.
If he doesn’t improve, would England drop a batsman to keep him in the side? Almost certainly not. They would never drop a batsman for a wicketkeeper. Batsmen outrank wicketkeepers. Apparently.