MX23RW : Saturday, March 7 18:14:23| >> :600:1814197:1814197:

Jos Buttler to stay as opener for T20 series decider

Jos Buttler to stay as opener for T20 series decider
© Reuters
The wicketkeeper-batsman has made scores of 15 and two in the opening two matches.

England will persist with Jos Buttler as opener for Sunday afternoon's Twenty20 decider against South Africa at Centurion.

Buttler has partnered Jason Roy at the top of the order at East London and Durban but his recent lean spell in Tests has transferred to T20s and scores of 15 and two has led to speculation he could drop down to five or six.

There is a growing clamour for Jonny Bairstow to be bumped up one place so he and Roy can attempt a double act that has proven hugely successful in one-day internationals, where the pair have 11 century partnerships in 35 innings.

Jos Buttler has yet to reach 50 in all format this winter
Jos Buttler has yet to reach 50 in all format this winter (Michael Sheehan/AP)

Their average of 67.51 is the highest from any opening combination with more than 1,000 ODI runs together but England will resist the temptation to unite the pair, keeping faith with Buttler.

The wicketkeeper-batsman is yet to make a half-century in any format this winter but three of his seven T20 fifties have come as an opener and he averages 40.14 there with a phenomenal strike rate of 156.98.

England captain Eoin Morgan is convinced the top-three in its current guise is the best option for England, whose dramatic two-run victory over the Proteas at Durban set up a winner-takes-all clash this weekend.

When asked whether he was contemplating moving Buttler down the order, Morgan replied: "Not for Sunday, definitely not.

"Jos is one of our greatest white-ball cricketers, as a batsman, never mind with the gloves.

"We believe him, Jason and Jonny are our top-three at the moment, moving forward."

Buttler's reputation as an outstanding 'finisher' in limited-overs cricket has been well-established but Moeen Ali believes his team-mate is more than capable of thriving wherever he bats.

Moeen said: "The lucky thing is that we can change it and we'd be just as strong or even stronger.

"Jos is brilliant at number five but he's also brilliant when he opens. So sometimes when he bats at five and plays the way he does, people say he could open and bat like that and bat for longer.

Moeen Ali, right, believes Jos Buttler can thrive anywhere in the order (Mark Kerton/PA)
Moeen Ali, right, believes Jos Buttler can thrive anywhere in the order (Mark Kerton/PA)

"Jos is one of our best finishers but we as a five, six, seven, eight have to get better as well. We can't just rely on him. If he comes off at the top, we win the game in 10 overs."

With England steadfast about where Buttler will bat at Supersport Park, Dawid Malan is once again likely to miss out despite averaging 57.25 with a strike-rate of 156.31 in nine T20 internationals.

Pressure is on Joe Denly's shoulders after the Kent batsman was dismissed for one on Friday evening, the seventh time in 11 T20 innings for England where he has failed to make it to double figures.

However, England could be unchanged for the third game in a row as they target a fifth successive bilateral T20 series victory to lay down a marker for this year's World Cup in Australia.

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Jos Buttler

Click here for more stories about England

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Ben Stokes in action for England on January 26, 2020
Read Next:
Eoin Morgan: England's bowlers "came up trumps" in South Africa win
>

rhs 2.0
Premier League
Championship
Six Nations
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
NIFL Premiership
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Australian A-League
Chinese Super League
J1 League
Gallagher Premiership
Super League

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!