Buttler had planned his line of attack against Kings XI perfectly. Given his slightly slower scoring and higher frequency of dismissals against spin last year, it was understandable that Kings XI looked to Mujeeb-ur-Rahman to dismiss the England keeper within the powerplay.
Buttler, though, was up to the task. He chose to play risk-free against the spinners and continued to go after the pace bowlers to rack up 43 in 22 balls in the first six overs. Of the 43 runs, just 15 came against spin.
He also scored quicker against the pacers with his 28 runs off them coming at a strike rate of 215.38. Against the spinners, the strike rate dropped to 166.66 in the powerplay although he was content playing out dots against both category of bowlers.
After the first six overs, Kings XI attacked Buttler with more spin. Ashwin and Mujeeb bowled in tandem as Buttler looked to just keep the scoreboard ticking. His 26 runs post the powerplay came off 21 balls and he hit just three fours - two off spin and one off pace - in this period.
The powerplay overs had always been Buttler's strength. Last season, he had plundered over 200 runs in this phase without being dismissed (in 7 innings). He remained unbeaten in the first six overs even today but had a clear plan on attacking the pacers and milking the spinners.
After his dismissal, Rajasthan lost seven wickets for 56 runs and went on to lose the match that appeared to be tilting in their favour when Buttler was batting.
First Published: March 26, 2019, 12:58 AM IST