Somerset's Jos Buttler backs squad players to step up
Jos Buttler is confident that Somerset can maintain their unbeaten start to the Friends Life t20 this week – despite being without six frontline players.
Somerset will head to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire on Thursday and then host the Welsh Dragons the following day without Marcus Trescothick, Craig Kieswetter, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, George Dockrell and Kevin O’Brien.
The club captain is still recovering from an ankle injury, while Kieswetter is on England duty, Levi and Morkel in Zimbabwe with South Africa’s Twenty20 squad and Dockrell and O’Brien due to play for Ireland against Australia in Belfast on Saturday.
However, Buttler, who hit a match-winning 58 not out in Sunday’s five-wicket Twenty20 win over Northamptonshire at Taunton, has belief in the entire Somerset squad.
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Lewis Gregory, one of the stars of last season’s 20-over campaign, with 18 wickets at an average of 17, and Alex Barrow, who hit a 70-ball 72 on his List A debut earlier this season, are likely to come into the side.
Buttler said: “It’s a game of momentum – once you get that winning habit, you need to keep it going.
“We’ve got a few people missing and we’re going to have to use the squad, but we’ve still got some really experienced guys here.
“Arul Suppiah and James Hildreth missed the first T20 game – and those are two strong players to leave out.
“We’re looking forward to Levi, Morkel and the other guys coming back, because they are top performers, but we’ve got guys who can step in and make contributions.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in everyone in the squad – everyone can do a job.
“We’ve got a reasonably big squad and Lewis Gregory, who did so well in the competition last season, can come in. We’re confident that we’ve got all the bases covered.”
Somerset were comfortable winners against Warwickshire when the sides met at Taunton last week – but Edgbaston and its longer boundaries provides a different challenge to the County Ground.
“We played well in that first game and I’m sure they’ll want to put that right at home,” said Buttler.
“We’ll have to adjust to playing at Edgbaston – it’s a much bigger ground than Taunton – but we’ve got a good formula in Twenty20.
“Alfonso Thomas leads the side really well and we’re confident. We’re doing all we can – we’ve won two from two and had the other rained out, so we’re in a good place.”
Buttler is likely to make his eighth Twenty20 international appearance for England against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Sunday – and he is eager to take his chance after scoring only 30 runs from four T20I innings so far.
“There’s always pressure when you play for England,” he said.
“It’s about performing. Getting picked is probably the easiest bit, now you have to perform on that stage, which is something I haven’t really done yet.”
Australia coach Mickey Arthur has promised a swashbuckling approach from his side in their forthcoming one-day series against England.
The rivals will open hostilities at Lord’s on June 29 in the first of five matches that will whet the appetite for next summer’s Ashes series.
“We are world number ones and we aim to come out and play a really good, exciting and sustainable brand of cricket,” Arthur said.
“We have an exciting team. We have some real firepower in our attack and we’re looking forward to a good, interesting series.”