IPL

'It's hard to describe what he's done for us' – Sangakkara hails Buttler ahead of IPL final

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

Kumar Sangakkara cannot recall seeing anyone bat better than Rajasthan Royals run machine Jos Buttler in the Indian Premier League ahead of the final against Gujarat Titans.

Buttler blasted the Royals into their first final for 14 years with a scintillating unbeaten 106 off only 60 balls to secure a seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2.

The England wicketkeeper-batter hit six sixes and 10 fours in a masterclass at Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday, taking his tally of centuries for the season to four.

Buttler is only one shy of Chris Gayle's record of scoring six IPL hundreds ahead of the final in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

The 31-year-old is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with 824 from 16 innings at an average of 58.86 and Royals director of cricket Sangakkara has never seen anything like it. 

He said: "It's hard to describe what he has done for us this season. I think he started off so well, had a little bit of a flutter at one point in the tournament, but he calmed himself down, had good conversations rather than just training.

"He accepted he's mortal, he's human and he can't have that high level of excellence every single day. And to understand how you kind of reach that level at every game in different stages.

"Some days you have to fight and look ugly, other days your rhythm is there. The reality is you can't fight that condition, but fight what's happening on the day.

"You have to settle into it and build an innings. He can accelerate at any point, has all the strokes and understands the game really well. I can't remember anyone batting this well in the history of the IPL."

Rajasthan have not reached a final since they won the inaugural IPL in 2008, when the late Shane Warne captained them to victory.

Gujarat topped the table in their first IPL season and beat the Royals by seven wickets in Qualifier 1 to move into the final.

David Miller struck a rapid 68 not out in that victory and the South Africa batter says he is reaping the rewards of the Titans putting their faith in him.

He said: "I feel like I am repeating myself. But one thing that changed this season, is that I am playing every game.

"The last four-five years in IPL… I had a bad season in 2016 and then haven't really felt backed at all. That’s the nature of the IPL. There are so many overseas players and only four can play.

"I had to go back and work on my game. Although I felt really good playing for the domestic teams in South Africa, I was looking to find that good nick. That's what happened this season."

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