England's Alex Hales believes Jos Buttler is transforming into ''one of the best one-day players in the world'' after his century helped the visitors beat South Africa by 39 runs in the first ODI at Bloemfontein. The wicketkeeper-batsmen, promoted to number four, struck 105 off 76 balls to register his second successive ODI hundred and fourth in total, helping the team pile-up 399 for nine in 50 overs, England's second-highest ODI total.
Speaking to Sky Sports 2, Hales, who struck 57 at the top of the order, said: "There is not really a lot to say about it. In my opinion he is turning himself into one of the best one-day players in the world, what we have seen today was a different level."
This is not the first time Buttler has flayed the bowling attack around the park. The 25-year-old hit a 46-ball hundred against Pakistan in 2015, breaking his own record for the fastest ODI ton. His 105 off 76 balls, in fact, is the slowest he has taken to reach the three-figure mark in ODIs.
England skipper Eoin Morgan, not a mean hitter himself, was full of praise for Buttler. "Jos was phenomenal. He has shown a lot of promise in his short career as England-wicketkeeper batsman and he is certainly someone who can change the game in the future," Morgan was quoted by Euro sport.
It has not been all roses for Buttler at the international level. The keeper was dropped from the Test team after poor returns throughout the summer and with Johnny Bairstow cementing his place in the side, a return to Test cricket is not on the cards at the moment. However, this has not affected the player, who is thriving in the shorter formats of the game and in the process becoming a symbol of change in England's attitude towards the ODI format.