Should Jos Buttler bat at five?

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We've already seen one 'the Buttler did it' headline

Let’s overlook all the trivial details, like the omission of England’s best Twenty20 batsman and the retirement of their best-ever Twenty20 bowler (one name in particular crops up very frequently in this list) and instead focus on whether Jos Buttler should emerge with England 26-3, 32-4 or 38-5.

It might seem like quibbling with someone’s use of indicators as they fly down the wrong side of a dual carriageway, but set it aside. Let’s just, for a moment, assume that everything else is fine and pretend that this is a really big issue.

This is troubling us because we internally contradicted ourself. We’ve always thought that Twenty20 batting orders should be pretty much best-to-worst from one to eleven. With so few overs available, you might as well make the most of what you’ve got. Then, when Jos Buttler came in at five yesterday, we thought: “No! What are you doing? Jos Buttler should come in with four overs to go to do whatever the hell he likes.”

Does this make sense? Surely if he comes in earlier he can hang around a bit, play normally and then still do whatever the hell he likes with four overs to go? It’s just that we don’t really want to see him build an innings. He’s so spectacularly good at pulling one out of his arse in an instant that earthly innings construction seems to miss the whole point.

Also, it’s reassuring to have a wildcard down the order. Look at DJ Sammy‘s performance yesterday.


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  1. Going by Chennai’s handling of Albie Morkel in the IPL, I’d think relegating Buttler to slogging in the last couple of overs would be a bad idea. Much better to let him come in early and do his thing.

  2. I particulary like the way that whenever England find someone good in one day cricket, it doesnt spur them on rather the rest of the team see it as an opportunity to just down tools for a while. The last three freaks that England have picked have been Pietersen, Morgan and now Buttler, and yet each time it has been the case that shortly after their blossoming England have looked like a worse team.

    Is it actually possible to dislike Darren Sammy?

    And am I alone in thinking that Chris Gayle is a massive twat?

  3. DJ Sammy played at my old club (Barnes) for a season back in the day. The only insights I can provide are:

    1) He was a very nice chap.
    2) He didn’t seem to be ‘all that’ at the time, but occasionally scared people with a bouncer or hit a ball into the next county.
    3) He spent a lot of time asleep on the changing room bench.
    4) He got worried before leaving for home because both his girlfriends were planning to greet him at the airport.

    1. Stories of international cricketers playing club cricket are among our favourite things.

    2. We had Sanjay Majrekar for two seasons. Nice bloke from what I remember. Made holes in the tea room roof. Was meant to be Vinod Kambli, but he backed out for whatever reason. I think we got the better deal in the end. Nearby Billingham had Andrew Symonds in his pre-international days, but I only found that out years later.

    3. Argh, brain fart. It was Michael Bevan. Quite how I got them mixed up I don’t know. The only thing they have in common is being Australian, and I know full well they don’t all look alike.

    4. Manjrekar does seem a decent dude.

      We’re slightly surprised by the locations, by the way. We thought the Lancashire leagues had pretty much cornered the market on big names playing at an inappropriate level.

    5. At the time Stockton were in the NYSD League (North Yorkshire and South Durham). Ijaz Ahmed and Clayton Lambert spent years playing for various clubs in that league. Was great when Clayton got called up for the West Indies in England. We had Sairaj Bahutule as well.

  4. Darren Sammy is my man crush cricketer. If England lose when he plays then I really don’t mind.

    Jos buttler is fine at 5 but I’d rather have Ravi in to do a rebuild job if early wickets tumble. Can’t England just play to the match situation and move players as and when. Let buttler come in anywhere from 3. -6.

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