Ed Smith’s first major decision as national selector was to end Buttler’s 18-month exile from the longest format, convinced he was too talented to be confined merely to the limited-overs disciplines.
Fresh from a scintillating stint in the Indian Premier League, an in-form Buttler rewarded Smith’s judgement with a man-of-the-match display at Headingley as England drew the two-Test series against Pakistan.
Confidence should therefore be oozing out of the belligerent batsman’s pores as England turn their attention towards five one-day internationals in 15 days against Australia.
Buttler has been a prominent, even pivotal, figure in England’s white-ball metamorphosis from also-rans to the top of the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings.
Series against Australia and India this summer should give England a clearer indication of how they are shaping up ahead of next year’s World Cup on home soil, for which they are strong contenders.
And England’s wicketkeeper-batsman is looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s a hugely exciting summer,” said Buttler, who is expected to return to the fold for Wednesday’s first ODI at The Oval after being rested for Sunday’s clash with Scotland in Edinburgh.
“Moving into the white-ball (matches), we’ve been playing some really good stuff.
“We’ve got to number one in the world, and Australia and India at home are going to be two massive tests.
“It’s an exciting couple of months coming up.”
Buttler’s recent rise began in India, where he has sometimes struggled to impose himself on the world’s grandest T20 stage – as a record of one fifty in his first 31 IPL contests would suggest.
But a move from the middle order to opener acted as a catalyst and scores of 67, 51, 82, 95no and 94no for the Rajasthan Royals saw him equal Virender Sehwag’s IPL record of five consecutive half-centuries.
There were not too many dissenters to his Test recall but there was plenty of discussion about whether a lack of first-class cricket would hinder his chances of success.
The early evidence suggests it will not as he followed up a defiant 67 at Lord’s with a mesmerising 80no in Yorkshire from the number seven position.
However, Buttler, who averaged a modest 31.36 from his first 18 Tests, must once again get used to being a man for all formats.
His last international century came against Australia earlier this year during England’s 4-1 series success Down Under – with his 100no from 83 balls comfortably the slowest of his five ODI tons but arguably his most mature innings.
And having proved his worth in the Test side, Buttler is on track to make this a summer to remember in his more natural white-ball environment.
The historic victory over England in the one-off one-day international in Edinburgh is a massive statement from Scottish cricket, says Calum MacLeod.
The former Durham and Warwickshire batsman starred with an unbeaten 140 as the Saltires claimed the biggest result in their history by beating England, who went into the game ranked number one in the world.
It is barely three months since they were at a low ebb after seeing their 2019 World Cup dreams dashed by bad weather and an umpiring call, rubbing salt into the wounds after the ICC decided to cut the number of participating nations at next year’s tournament.
Scotland went into the game against England with a point to prove, and sealed a famous win in dramatic fashion, posting 371 before successfully defending the total in the penultimate over of the match and emerging triumphant by just six runs.
MacLeod admitted the win would go down as one of the best for the team.
“I reckon it is up there,” he said. “This win has been coming for a couple of years since Grant (Bradburn) and Kyle (Coetzer) took over and pushed the aggressive cricket you saw.
“We showed we were capable of this last year against Sri Lanka and then to take the step up to beat a full England side, number one-ranked in the world, is a massive statement from Scottish cricket.
“It does not take away what happened in Zimbabwe and everyone’s feelings about the 10-team World Cup but this was a special day.”
He added: “We want more games. That is the bigger shop window rather than personal side of it. If the ICC and other international teams look at this game they will see we are not an add on. This should be a catalyst for more games.
“Anyone here or watching could see the energy from the crowd and what passion there is for cricket up here.”
Scotland defeated England by six runs in the Edinburgh ODI on Sunday. They scored 371 for five before keeping their cool to secure victory against the No1 ODI side in the world. An Associate nation stunning the top ranked, and arguably the best, side in the world in a pulsating high-scoring ODI.
England will take a long time to recover from this stunning result. Granted they didn’t have star players Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes but even so the result will be difficult to digest.
But we are not talking about England losing. We are looking at Scotland’s win. A win that will soon become an interesting footnote in cricket’s history books because this is as far as Scotland can go. There is no World Cup for them to prove this isn’t a flash in the pan and that they can challenge the best in the world.
England got their way on cutting the World Cup to 10 teams.— Tim (@timwig) June 10, 2018
Scotland have exposed - again - the lie the WC is being cut because of a lack of competitive teams.
The ICC decided to restrict next year’s World Cup to a 10-team affair. No place for an ’emerging’ team producing a shock upset. Only familiar faces renewing their rivalries and having no time for any mismatch, which Scotland showed doesn’t have to be the case even if they had lost Sunday’s ODI.
Former Scotland captain Preston Mommsen captured the sentiment among teams lower down the pecking order perfectly.
“I don’t want to call it a World Cup because it isn’t. It is just a tournament with ten teams. It is like a Champions Trophy. Really nail it down. They cannot see the long-term benefits and gains in trying to be more inclusive to the other teams outside of your full member nations and the potential for growth that is there, they are not tapping that,” he was quoted as saying by Wisden India.
There will be no Scotland or Ireland at the 2019 World Cup in England. Two teams who have beaten the hosts in high-scoring ODIs – Ireland chasing down 328 during the 2011 World Cup and Scotland defeating the world No1 side in Edinburgh.
Whatever happens at the next World Cup, we will definitely not see a team out to prove the world wrong and demanding its fair share of the cricketing pie. The ‘others’ have already been shown their place. All the Scotlands of the world can do is make their presence known whenever the ‘main’ teams bother to show up.
AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING!— Peter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) June 10, 2018
What a game. Well done Scotland. One ropey lbw call and some rain away from making the World Cup. This isn’t much consolation but it is some consolation.