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England's IT20 summer is over with Buttler claiming MVP prize
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Jos Buttler has been awarded the PCA Most Valuable Player for England’s International T20 summer after two half centuries in four games powered him ahead of his teammates in the Rankings.
The wicketkeeper was promoted to open the batting after a fantastic Indian Premier League which saw him score the sixth most runs in the tournament and also equal the IPL record of five consecutive fifties.
After a superb start to the international summer, he has now transferred his form back to the shortest form for his country, receiving 52 MVP points across the four Vitality IT20s.
To underline the importance of England’s destructive opening partnership, Buttler’s partner Jason Roy came second in the Rankings with 42 points after a consistent series from the Surrey man left him 10 points behind the winner in the individual standings.
A one-off IT20 fixture against Australia followed the 5-0 whitewash in the Royal London One Day International Series with the hosts making it a clean sweep as Eoin Morgan led his country to victory in T20.
Put in to bat by Aaron Finch, Buttler made an instant impact with Jason Roy in putting on a 95 run partnership before falling for 61 from just 30 balls which set the tone for a comprehensive 28 run victory.
Alex Hales and Joe Root also contributed with the bat in scoring 49 and 35 respectively in posting 221-5. In the chase, Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan shared six wickets. Sussex quick bowler, Jordan, bowling at the start and at the death, took his three wickets for 42 while the Yorkshire leg spinner bowled his four overs for just 28 runs.
Virat Kohli’s India were expected to be a much tougher challenge and that proved correct, taking the first game at Old Trafford by eight wickets. Despite Buttler top scoring with 69 from 46 balls and Roy’s 30 at a strike rate of 150, a middle order collapse meant India were set 160 to win.
Lokesh Rahul smashed 101 off just 54 balls to guide his country to victory with 10 balls remaining. Rashid was again England’s star with the ball, ending with figures of one for 25 off his full allocation of overs.
Jake Ball made his debut in the second T20 in Cardiff, taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma but it was David Willey and Liam Plunkett who shone after Morgan elected to field in Cardiff.
The Yorkshire pair went for just 35 runs in their eight overs while taking the key wickets of Kohli and Rahul.
Chasing 149 for victory, Alex Hales put his hand up and took the Man of the Match of the award according to the MVP formula which is designed to identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches.
The MVP which provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages. Points are accrued for all runs scored and wickets taken, these are then adjusted within the context of the match, taking into account strike rates, economy rates as well as when wickets are taken.
Therefore, it was no surprise to see Hales’ match-winning 58 not out securing the award as he held the innings together with Jonny Bairstow’s 28 the only man to pass 20 and help set-up a deciding game in Bristol.
However, it was not to be with Sharma following in the footsteps of Rahul by scoring the second century of the series to guide India to victory with eight balls remaining, chasing 199.
Buttler and Roy continued their destructive partnership in the winner takes all fixture, putting on 94 for the opening wicket and Roy top scoring with 67 at an impressive strike rate of 216. Ben Stokes returned from injury with a quick fire 14 and with contributions from Hales and Bairstow, England reached 198-9.
Willey, Ball and Jordan all took a wicket each and despite economical bowling from Stokes and Rashid, India took the series 2-1 thanks to a seven wicket win.
The Overall MVP Rankings mirrors the IT20 standings with Buttler on top with 176 points ahead of Roy, Moeen Ali and Bairstow in the standings across all formats for England this summer.
You can view the Overall and IT20 MVP Rankings here.