Buttler feels he has 'nothing to lose' ahead of Ashes opener

By Sports Desk November 30, 2021

Jos Buttler insists he has "nothing to lose" as England prepare for their Ashes battle with Australia.

Captain Joe Root's side begin their quest for glory on December 8 in Brisbane as they look to inflict a blow on Australia, who recently enjoyed T20 World Cup success in the United Arab Emirates.

Buttler, who is England's vice-captain and wicket-keeper in the longest format, has never played a Test match Down Under and averages just 20.50 in 18 red-ball innings against Australia – only against South Africa does he average fewer runs.

But the 31-year-old intends to embrace the fearless approach that served him so well at the T20 World Cup, where he bludgeoned 269 runs at an average of 89.66.

"I feel like I have nothing to lose, to be honest," Buttler told reporters at Tuesday's virtual news conference.

"It's sort of been a disjointed year, the one just gone. Some good form and some bad form and in the year before as well.

"But I certainly have nothing to lose. I come here and it's the first time I'm experiencing an Ashes series [in Australia] so I'm fully determined to enjoy all the challenges that throws up.

"I'm excited to experience it: the good, the bad, and I'm sure the highs and lows along the way.

"As a player at the minute I'm trying to bring a fearless approach and to truly try and embrace the opportunity.

"I sort of feel like I'm in that stage in my career with nothing to lose, but to give my best, and I know when I get to somewhere near my best that's going to be pretty good."

The Ashes has already been hitting the headlines with Australia captain Tim Paine stepping down to take a break away from cricket for mental health reasons following a lewd-texting scandal.

Pat Cummins takes the leadership role as the fast bowler becomes Australia's 47th Test captain, and Buttler claims whoever can ignore off-field issues the best will succeed.

"Around the Ashes there's always certain things that go on. The guys that can sort of park off-field issues or deal with the distractions an Ashes series throws up, and perform well when the ball is being delivered, is the team that's going to play best," he said.

Despite having not played a Test match in Australia before, Buttler believes he can call upon white-ball experiences to compete against Cummins' new side.

"I've not played a red-ball game out here, bar some Lions cricket a number of years ago," he said.

"I've been to Australia quite a few times and played ODIs, T20s and the Big Bash as well.

"So familiarity with some conditions is something I can dip into and hopefully not be surprised by. But I think the challenge always as a player is to adapt to any conditions that are in front of you and adapt quickly.

"But certainly, I will try to dip into that experience, and I'm in my early 30s now so have played quite a bit of cricket and hopefully know what to expect."

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