Friday, 5 February 2016, 04:16pm
Jos Buttler sets IPL thoughts aside to focus on England duty
England's match-winning wicketkeeper-batsman is out to cash in on his rich one-day interntional form after hitting a second successive hundred as the tourists went 1-0 up on South Africa in Bloemfontein.
The IPL loot, if there is to be any after he entered the annual auction with England's blessing and a base price of around Â£180,000, can wait until he has given his all again out in the middle at Port Elizabeth's St George's Park on Saturday.
Before his latest century, in Wednesday's Duckworth-Lewis victory in Bloemfontein, Buttler shrugged that he will be just a "piece of meat" in an auction over which he has no control.
With that fourth and very timely ODI hundred under his belt, he may find he is a choice cut that stirs up plenty of big-money interest when the bidding gets under way in Bangalore.
He is likely to be padded up one way or another when he hears how much he is worth - but Buttler insists it will be no distraction from his national duty.
At the suggestion a 'big day' is looming, he said: "Yes, it is.
"I'll just be focused on playing for England - what happens away from that is outside my control.
"I'll be trying to build on what's happened [in the first match] and looking forward to what should be a fantastic series."
Buttler helped England pile up 399 for nine at the Mangaung Oval, their highest overseas total in ODIs.
Yet when a forecast storm broke, they were not assured of victory - Quinton de Kock still going strong on a career-best 138 out of 250 for five in 33.3 overs.
With no further play possible, rain rules gave England the verdict by 39 runs.
But Buttler said: "South Africa are a fantastic side and will come back hard against us.
"I'm sure they will have fancied winning the game the way that Quinton was playing - and there will be a really good contest on Saturday, which will have my whole attention."
He does not anticipate any difficulty setting aside all thought of what is happening almost 5,000 miles away.
"Obviously, I have no control over anything that is going on there," he said.
"It's quite a strange feeling - you put yourself in the hat and you see what happens. I could be sat on my sofa in April."
"I'll be interested to know what happens but I think it will be pretty easy [to ignore it], being involved in a full-blooded one-day international.
"That needs all my attention."
Buttler has made two roaring successes of promotion up the order to number four in his last two ODI innings - bettering his own national record for the fastest England hundred, against Pakistan in Dubai back in November, and duly adding another century this week.
He started cautiously, however, having been a spectator for England's Test series victory over the previous seven weeks and then had just one warm-up innings of 20 against South Africa A.
"I was really nervous," he said.
"Usually, I feel quite calm but I was really nervous when I got out there, and I think that nervous energy showed in my innings."
Two months without competitive action sowed a trace of self-doubt - which was quickly dispelled.
He said: "I finished well in Dubai b ut that is a long time ago, and you're never sure if you can carry form forward.
"I've batted a lot in the nets, but being in the middle is a completely different kettle of fish."
Buttler has demonstrated an evident liking for the number four spot - but he is not about to claim it as his own, whatever the match situation.
"When you get the promotion, you feel the expectation," he continued.
"You've been put up the order to continue the momentum of the guys who started it.
"The great thing for our side is that we have flexibility. It might be we need a left-hander, and Stokesy [Ben Stokes] can go in and chance his arm.
"I think that is another strength of the side we are developing."
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2016, All Rights Reserved.
Jos Buttler will be in Saturday's Indian Premier League auction