Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FREDDIE - JOS IS THE ULTIMATE SMASH HIT ; Lancs Legend Flintoff Hands out Huge Accolade to Powerful Red Rose Team-Mate Buttler.

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

FREDDIE - JOS IS THE ULTIMATE SMASH HIT ; Lancs Legend Flintoff Hands out Huge Accolade to Powerful Red Rose Team-Mate Buttler.

Article excerpt

ANDREW Flintoff has been known to whack a cricket ball a long way in his time.

And, having starred in the Indian Premier League, the Lancashire all-rounder has played against, and alongside, some of the biggest- hitting batsmen in the world.

But Freddie believes his Red Rose team-mate Jos Buttler beats the lot of them.

Lancashire's wicketkeeper has already made an impression at Emirates Old Trafford since signing for the county from Somerset at the end of last season.

His 55 off just 28 balls in Lightning's 50-run demolition of Worcestershire Rapids in the NatWest T20 Blast at New Road on Sunday was the latest in a string of displays that has seen him plunder runs from the best county bowlers have to offer.

Last month he blitzed 87 off just 91 balls in Lancashire's LV= County Championship match with Northamptonshire at Old Trafford, an innings which included four sixes and left former South African Test batsman Ashwell Prince - who was watching from the other end on the way to his career best 257 not out - awestruck.

Three days earlier he smashed 58 off 26 deliveries against the same opposition in the T20 Blast. And he demolished World T20 champions Sri Lanka at Lord's in May with 121 off only 74 balls in a one-day international.

It has left Flintoff amazed at the power of the 23-year-old.

"I've never seen anybody hit a ball like Jos Buttler - seriously!" said the former England captain. "I have played with some amazing players but he hits the ball more cleanly than anyone I have ever seen.

"He works hard at his game. The way he goes about his business, he's probably the best I have played with on that front."

Buttler was called up to the England Test squad on Tuesday as cover for Matt Prior, who had complained of a slight tightness in his thigh. But the Sussex keeper was passed fit to play in the first Test against India at Trent Bridge yesterday morning, meaning Buttler is free for Lancashire's T20 clash with Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road tomorrow. …

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