Jos Buttler and the ramp shot

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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.


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  1. Yes and yes. He missed a simple stumping yesterday. Why Prior is always ignored when it comes to this form of the game is anyone’s guess.

    1. When was the last time a keeper WASN’T selected on the basis of his batting? In the modern game if you’re not averaging at least 35 you’re out. Think of all the great keepers that criteria would have removed from the equation.

    2. We suppose there are different degrees. You can weigh batting as being 80 per cent important and keeping as being 20 per cent important or 50-50, 70-30 or whatever.

      The current situation seems a bit more like they’ve picked six batsmen and five bowlers and then handed the gloves to someone.

    3. It’s especially weird when you consider that Buttler appears to only really have one trick.

      Ok, that trick of belting the ball miles in the last 6 over is frigging amazing, but if he either gets in too early (Southampton, Lords) or the batsmen do their jobs (thank God Bopara got out when he did) then Buttler seems very rough round the edges. England are basically going to have him floating anywhere from 3-11 in the order, then just get someone to tread on their stumps with 8 overs to go.

      This might be really stupid, but should England actually be picking Buttler and Prior/Bairstow/Davies/Kieswetter?

    4. Probably, but that would involve dropping a batsman and like we say, batsmen appear to outrank wicketkeepers, so that won’t happen.

    5. England have been picking keepers for their batting since time immemorial. Or the 20s, at least, with Ames and Duckworth.

    6. I agree with picking Buttler and Prior and Bairstow and Kieswetter. Not sure about Davies. Perhaps Ambrose, instead. Should probably find a place for Eckersley in there too.

  2. England’s batting woes seem to boil down to two issues – plodding and getting-out-to-stupid-shots. These two seem to feed of each other as well, as when England batsmen (excluding Trott) feel themselves plodding, they try to accelerate which results in someone getting out to a stupid shot. Meanwhile Trott – seeing his team-mates get out to stupid shots, decides the best response is to “keep wickets in hand” and slows down even more.

    Buttler (and Root, I think) is a marvellous exception to this in that he doesn’t appear to “think” and just plays on instinct. Clearly, playing the way he does will result in getting out cheaply fairly often, but I wouldn’t necessarily class them as stupid shots but more of an occupational hazard.

    1. We’d say that he places almost no value on his wicket. In a good way.

  3. Buttler’s ramp shot needs a cute name of its own. Like Dilscoop. JosRamp? RampaJo? ButtRamp sounds wrong though.

    1. Ged Ladd is indeed an alter ego who himself has several alter egos. Neither Alex Bowden nor King Cricket are amongst them, regrettably.

      (Masterful use of the Vaughanesque third person there, though I say so myselves.)

  4. no cricket-related sentence is complete without an exclamation mark! (or two!!)

    [ok, i give up. i actually find this sort of thing just as irritating as you do]

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