KP backs Buttler to be next big thing for England

Updated: Feb 14, 2013, 12:22 PM IST

London: Kevin Pietersen has backed Jos Buttler to shine for England in coming years following his maiden half-century against New Zealand during the second Twenty20 international in Hamilton. England`s new king of the long handle Buttler goes into the Twenty20 decider against New Zealand with Pietersen as his cheerleader, the Daily Mirror reports.

Buttler’s maiden ­international half-century justified the Pietersen’s judgment, who is also his biggest fan on Twitter, the paper said, Buttler may not have perfected the pelican on drive off one leg, the cross-batted baseball hit straight down the ground or the switch-hit, but his repertoire of strokes is beginning to look like England’s best discovery since Pietersen, the paper added. Pietersen would reach New Zealand next week to prepare for the three-match Test series with the Kiwis after being rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour.

Buttler’s huge hitting is one of England’s best hopes of clinching the Twenty20 series in Wellington’s ‘Cake Tin’ Westpac stadium on Friday, the paper reported.

Stuart Broad’s men went from the dizzy heights of Auckland, where their 40-run win was decorated by 15 sixes, to Tuesday’s top-order collapse in Hamilton, where Buttler’s innings of 54 in 30 balls tempered a heavy defeat.