Is Jos Buttler England’s next white-ball captain?

There is, it would appear, nothing that Jos Buttler cannot do. Nothing fazes the softly-spoken man from Somerset, with any pent-up anger seemingly reserved for when he is stood in the middle with the bat in hand.

A reputation has been earned, and is now cemented as England’s greatest ever white-ball cricketer. That is some billing, but one that sits comfortably onto the broad shoulders of one of the most dynamic players around.

How could you argue against such a claim? What more would Buttler need to do in order to convince any doubters that he deserves to stand unopposed at the top of that chart?

He is a man for the big occasion, helping England to World Cup glory in 2019, putting them very much in the mix at the T20 equivalent in 2021 and making them 3/1 shots in bet on cricket markets at Betfair to double down on 50-over dominance in 2023.

Buttler finds himself in the most luxurious of sporting comfort zones. He can do no wrong. Confidence is almost spilling out of him and recent form does no justice to the phrase ‘purple patch’.

Form, of course, can be temporary, but class is very much permanent. England will have few concerns regarding Buttler and the direction in which he will continue to head for the immediate future. Will that, however, still be the case when the collective gaze starts to drift a little more long-term?

Should Buttler take captaincy duties?

Given his standing in the England ranks and value to the cause, Buttler is now very much a leader on the field. He has filled a vice-captaincy role at Test level and is one of Eoin Morgan’s right-hand men in the shorter formats of the game.

Few have the ability to cause destruction in ODIs and T20 internationals quite like Buttler, so picking his brains and allowing him to call a few shots makes complete sense. He is not front and centre, though.

Will he be in the future? There is every chance that such an opportunity will be passed his way.

Anyone considered to be ‘the best’ in their chosen profession is always going to be looked to for inspiration and guidance. In sporting terms, that means taking on captaincy duties.

It is, however, worth remembering that Buttler is already a go-to man for runs, often as an opening batsman, while also being asked to take the gloves behind the stumps in a wicket-keeping role. Maybe, he has enough on his plate already.
England’s history of asking enigmatic talents to skipper the side is mixed at best. They will be wary of demanding too much from Buttler. A big part of his obvious appeal is an ability to play with freedom, to shake the shackles, see the ball and smash it a long way.
Nobody wants to start clouding that judgement and potentially rein in one of the finest to ever play the game. Further experience will aid Buttler’s development and make him even more captain-worthy, but nothing will be forced upon him.
England has a very special talent at their disposal. They must, at all costs, avoid doing anything to limit those superpowers.

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