Jos Buttler an unbeaten 80 inning that helped England to an innings and 55-run win over Pakistan at Headingley. It was a performance that squared the two-match series and earned him the man-of-the-match champagne.
“Those couple of weeks in the IPL gave me huge amounts of confidence,” he said. “To be in those pressure situations in India, playing in front of crowds and the pressure of being an overseas player. That showed me a lot about where I was at and where I can get to. For me, not trying to worry about the colour of the ball definitely helps. Having put in good performances elsewhere and not putting as much pressure on myself.”
Now with 20 Tests under his belt, the 27-year-old believes he is in a better place mentally to cope with the full demands of five days of graft. Crucially, he feels taking a backward step – the good kind – has allowed him to come into this series with an uncluttered mind. That was particularly evident when he ticked his way over to 45 off 90 balls.
“If anything, my mentality has been quite similar to my first few Tests. Not worrying about external factors, just trying to play the game, trusting myself. The big difference is experience,” he said.
“When I was a young player, I didn’t really believe in experience when the older guys told me I would improve or understand things with time. I used to think you could either do it or you can’t. But now I understand how valuable experience is, and maturity, to help you to deal with not only the on-field stuff but what goes on around it.”