Rajasthan Royals' wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler started off IPL 2021 on a quiet note, but he finally bounced back in style with not just his maiden century in the tournament history but also his first T20 hundred. He achieved the triple-figure mark against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.
In his first six games, Buttler managed only 130 runs at a strike rate of 127.5. With Ben Stokes gone, Liam Livingstone opting out of the tournament and Sanju Samson's lack of consistency, onus was on Buttler to get the scoreboard running in the PowerPlay, the phase he enjoys the most. But barring two scores of 40s, Buttler had nothing to show.
But on Sunday, Buttler had gone berserk at the Arun Jaitley Stadium scoring 124 runs in 64 balls laced with 11 boundaries and eight sixes to guide Rajasthan to a colossal 220/3 against a struggling SRH.
With the century, he became the fourth Englishman to score a hundred in IPL after Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. His eventually tally, however, makes it the highest score by an Englishman in IPL oing past Bairstow's 114 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019. It is also the highest score by a Rajasthan Royals batsman in IPL, going past Sanju Samson's 119 against Punjab Kings earlier this season and is the second-highest score against Sunrisers Hyderabad after Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 128 in IPL 2018.
"Really enjoyed it. Great to spend time out there and have fun. I didn't find it easy at the start. I haven't been feeling at my best form for a while now. so a little bit of a struggle and just acceptance. I just tried to hang in there. At times I have been guilty of trying to get back into form too quickly and not give myself a chance. I just got better as the innings went on," said Buttler at the end of the innings.
"The mindset against Rashid was to just try and stay out there. He's had my number for a long time, so thankful to not get out to him. I have spent a lot of my career in the middle order where hundreds aren't easy to come by. At the top of the order you get a great chance. I finally will have Alastair Cook stop telling me that he has got one T20 hundred more than me (laughs). It is obviously a great score. We saw how MI chased it down yesterday, it is a small ground with a quick outfield and SRH have some fantastic players. We'll have to execute our plans really well," he added.