Dubai: Rajasthan Royals’ wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is expecting a high-scoring debut as they prepare for the in-form Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Buttler had to sit out the Royals’ win against three-time champions Chennai Super Kings as the Englishman had to complete the mandatory quarantine period along with his family. The Buttlers were not part of the bio bubble that had been created for the players travelling from England to the UAE, and hence had to serve the entire six-day quarantine period.
The Royals got their campaign up and running with a 16-run win against Chennai Super Kings, and they will be keen to continue with this winning momentum against the KL Rahul-led KXIP.
Now through with his mandatory quarantine period, Buttler is raring to go against the Kings on Sunday. “The training has been very energetic. The guys are lively and enjoying each other’s company. So yeah a good atmosphere around, expecting a really tough match against Kings XI,” Buttler told the Royals website.
“Obviously, a fantastic team, KL Rahul was in exceptional form the other night against RCB, so he will be a key wicket as always and I think we’ll see another potentially high-scoring game at Sharjah with small boundaries and the dew factor coming in. Can’t wait to get back out there.”
The Royals tweaked their batting order in their very first game with the young Yashasvi Jaiswal opening alongside Steve Smith, followed by Sanju Samson at No. 3. Although it paid off, there were a few discrepancies with the Royals slowing down on the scoring rate after Samson’s departure in the 12th over as Smith struggled to find a batting partner who would stick around.
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Samson was awarded the man of the match award for his blistering 74 runs from 32 deliveries that included nine sixes and one boundary. Skipper Smith preferred to play quiet while dropping anchor for a well-made 69 runs.
But Jofra Archer was the pick of the late surge as the Englishman hoisted four maximums to help the Royals’ reach a commanding 216-7 in their 20 overs. The bowlers then stepped in to ensure the MS Dhoni-led Chennai side didn’t get past the total.
An explosive batsman who often opens, Buttler could be one of the options to iron out the creases for the Royals. “Great to get a win on the board, the team played fantastically well in the first game. It was an outstanding batting performance and a fantastic bowling performance in tough conditions,” Buttler said.
“I am really excited to play my first game, it was great to be back with the boys. There’s a great vibe around the team, so I’m really looking forward to taking the field. The atmosphere and energy around the squad is fantastic, obviously lots of confidence after that first game.”