Ahmedabad, May 29 (IANS): Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes while the legendary Shane Warne was the first 'royal', Jos Buttler is the 'reigning royal' after the charismatic England cricketer smashed an unbeaten 106 off 60 balls to guide Rajasthan Royals to their second ever IPL final.
Riding on a superb century by Buttler -- his first in a chase this season -- the Sanju Samson-led Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 2 by seven wickets on May 27 to set up a title clash with Gujarat Titans later on Sunday.
Buttler's amazing form this season has seen him score 824 runs so far at an average of almost 59 and a strike rate of 151.47. He has also registered four centuries and an equal number of half-tons this season, making him the highest run-getter in IPL 2022.
Buttler -- placed third on the all-time IPL scorers' list in a single season -- is just 25 runs shy of taking second-placed David Warner's place. The Australian had 848 runs for SRH in 2016. While Warner's scores is well within reach of Buttler when RR take on GT in the final on Sunday, reaching Virat Kohli's all-time record of 973 runs in a season (2016), is a bit far-fetched, given that the England cricketer will need to score 150 to go past the veteran Indian batter.
Lavishing praise on Buttler, Manjrekar said on Espncricinfo's T20 Time:Out that, "My reading watching that entire (Buttler) innings was that he was actually, because he felt that he was one of the key players and the target wasn't huge, playing a slightly responsible innings, and it was that kind of an innings (vs RCB in Qualifier 2) where I've tweeted after a long time saying where you play to the merit of the ball that kind of an innings and he's got a 106 off just 60 balls.
"Just spotted one shot against (Josh) Hazlewood where he sort of played that T20 kind of shot. (But) All the other were him waiting for the ball to be loose by his standards, so the margin for error for the bowlers was minimal.
"That (Mohd) Siraj pick up shot or, you know, Shahbaz Ahmed, the moment he was in his slot, (Buttler) hit him for a six. So, the approach was 'Ok, I'm gonna look for the loose balls' and he ended up playing this kind of an innings. So, you can have that approach, you can have that attitude, but finally you must have those skills and the ability, and we are blessed to have seen this kind of an innings. Shane Warne was the first 'royal'; this one is the 'reigning royal'," concluded Manjrekar.
Warne had led Rajasthan Royals to their maiden title win in IPL 2008.