Buttler expects Australia to turn up with 'hard-nosed, competitive edge'



Maybe verbally, but I don’t think tactically and cricket wise they’ll still be an aggressive side – Buttler. © Getty

How much water has passed under the bridge since the unceremonious ball tampering scandal in the Newlands Test earlier this year? There really are different ways to look at it. Quite a lot of it can be concluded when Australia take the field for the first time since that event, in the limited-overs series against England. While there are a few battles to be won both on and off the field for the visitors, hosts don’t need to go too far back in time to remind themselves of their white-ball exploits, having defeated Australia in their conditions [4-1 ODI series win] earlier this year.

Australia’s real task of building up for next year’s World Cup will essentially begin now in conditions that it would take place in 2019. Also, along with that, the whole talk of ‘rebuilding the faith of their fans‘ will begin now. There will be challenges aplenty for them given their two big men – Steve Smith and David Warner, will not be around, but that as per England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, will not hold the tourists back from playing aggressive cricket.

Australia are in England with a new leader in Tim Paine and new head coach in Justin Langer. While both the men in charge are tasked with helping Australia move away from the damages from the South Africa tour, they would only tone down the verbal aggression and still play some hard cricket. Buttler, too, believes that their competitive edge will not be compromised at all. However, the 27-year-old claimed that ‘sledging’ remained a very subjective area and that it differed from person to person, and team to team.

“Maybe verbally, but I don’t think tactically and cricket wise they’ll still be an aggressive side,” Buttler said on Friday (June 8). “Everyone’s opinion on the word sledging, everyone determines that differently. My interpretation of sledging is completely different to yours, to Justin Langer’s to Eoin Morgan’s. So there are always going to be grey areas.

“There are obviously loads of different techniques, there is a grey area, I don’t understand what’s allowed and what isn’t. People always say, “I know where the line is” but it depends on whose line it is. It’s a very hard area to judge.

“You wouldn’t walk down the street and abuse a postman if he didn’t deliver the letters in the right way. But at the same time, in professional sport, what did Steve Waugh call it? Mental disintegration – If you’re making someone in the middle think about something else and not 100 per cent focused on the ball coming then you’re gaining an advantage,” he added.

Buttler rather focussed on how eager Australia will be to put the whole Newlands episode behind them and under Langer – someone the England batsman spent some time with at Somerset during his early days – he believes the tourists will take to the former opener’s fierce methods.

“The mantras he lives by I saw a little bit. They’ll be a highly-disciplined, hard-working team with a hard-nosed, competitive edge. They’re still going to have that side, it’s international cricket, it’s hard and competitive. So I think they’re coming, as well, with a bit of a point to prove and to put (the ball-tampering) behind them and start playing cricket again. So I expect a really tough series and tough cricket on the pitch.”

While Paine shall lead the ODI unit, Aaron Finch will lead the team in the only T20I. The visitors have made a lot of changes to their outfit, which will play its first ODI on June 13.

© Cricbuzz


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