Jos Buttler is cricket’s version of Rory McIlroy as he explores new shots to reach new boundaries
JOS BUTTLER has become cricket’s version of Rory McIlroy — and is now one of the biggest hitters in the world.
Buttler reveals he treats the swing of his bat with the same precision as a top golfer unleashing a drive on the first tee.
His technique is honed for hours in the nets where he constantly tries to explore new shots and expand his repertoire.
Buttler, who has a handicap of ten and drives a golf ball 300 yards, contributed 12 SIXES to the astonishing, world-record 46 MAXIMUMS in England’s 29-run victory over West Indies in Grenada on Wednesday.
Windies star Chris Gayle hoisted 14 sixes — and even Buttler doffs his helmet to the ‘Universe Boss’ when it comes to launching leather into orbit.
The brutality of the hitting has caused some to ask for bigger boundaries and a more even contest between bat and ball. But crowds love to see balls flying everywhere.
Buttler said: “I practise hitting sixes a lot and the real fun isn’t always out in the middle on match days.
“I enjoy the exploration in the nets, watching lots of cricket and seeing how other guys do stuff.
“What I really enjoy about cricket is that innovation — whether it is power-hitting or something else.
“Hitting is about how I feel the swing and path of the bat. There are definitely times when I say, ‘My swing feels off’.
“Having a rhythm is important and I guess it is like a golf swing in the way you time the ball.
“All the things that go into it are very similar. Hand speed is something I like to have. So my bat is around 2lb 8oz, not too heavy. I don’t feel I have as much control of my swing with a heavy bat.
“On Wednesday, it was nice to stay calm, remain in the groove and be consistent.
“Chris Gayle hit his 300th one-day international six. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone make six-hitting look so easy.”
Cricketers call practising sixes ‘range hitting’ as though they are on a driving range wielding a TaylorMade.
So another golf connection there — and baseball techniques such as clearing the front leg and generating power from the legs and torso are crucial, too.]
Buttler advanced from 50 to 150 in just 32 balls, while Gayle’s 55-ball hundred was the fastest of his one-day career at the age of 39.
Victory put the tourists 2-1 up ahead of tomorrow’s fifth and final one-dayer of the series.
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England captain Eoin Morgan, who knows a thing or two about horses, said: “Jos is built like a champion racehorse and is very difficult to stop when he gets into his stride.”
Even Gayle was impressed. He said: “Buttler is one of the best strikers in world cricket. He’s a dangerous guy. He can win a game.”