England skipper Eoin Morgan has compared Rajasthan star Jos Buttler to South Africa great AB de Villiers and labelled him “one of England’s greatest-ever white-ball cricketers”.
Buttler’s role as an opener for England’s T20 side had come under some scrutiny ahead of the third and final series clash with Australia on Sunday.
However, Buttler smashed 57 off just 29 balls to help England land the victory and an overall series success.
After the game in Durban, Morgan says he will consider Buttler as a top-order batsman heading into the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
England are currently considered third-favourites to win the tournament. They are priced at 5.50 (9/2) with bet365. Hosts Australia are favourites at 3.75 (11/4) with second-favourites India at 4.50 (7/2).
Buttler’s Rajasthan move set the precedent
Jos Buttler has started the last eight games as England’s T20I opener and 31 of 32 T20 games overall. That came after being put at the top of the order by Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.
“He's a very fine player. He's got unbelievable ability to take any bowling line-up apart, and to have somebody in your side like that is great,” Morgan told Sky Sports.
“I don't think he played that well today, but he got a score on the board, and set a really good platform for us to try and chase a score down along with Jonny (Bairstow).
“(Jos is) one of our greatest-ever white-ball cricketers. I realise why people talk about him so much, but not in a negative way. I think he has as much talent as someone like AB de Villiers.
“It took AB de Villiers a long time and a lot of games to actually get going in a South African shirt. We need to back guys that have that sort of talent, and Jos Buttler's been around a long time now, and we know when he delivers, we win games of cricket.”
England’s top three crucial to big run chase
Morgan says that Buttler and his fellow T20 top-order batsman are key to England being able to chase down big targets.
He added: “I think the priority at the moment is to get the top three (Buttler, Jason Roy and Bairstow) as many balls under their belt as they can.
“They're the most destructive players that we have. If that changes between now and the World Cup, and we feel the need to fill a gap somewhere, then we might change it, but for the moment it's an extremely destructive batting line-up to play against.”