England’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals had fallen by the wayside after the defeat to Ireland and the game against Ireland. Australia washed away last week.
But they breathed new life into their campaign by beating New Zealand by 20 runs on Tuesday, with Buttler named Player of the Match after breaking 73 runs and taking a dive to fire Devon Conway.
“After an indifferent start to the tournament, Buttler had to lead from the front in Brisbane,” wrote Mike Atherton in the Times.
“And (he) did so by showing good judgment on the toss, giving top scores and then arranging the answer in the field in fine style, including a first-class catch down the side of the leg…
“A defeat would have been anything but terminal and so to play so confidently and intelligently in those circumstances, with such vigor and a good omen for things to come.”
Buttler also earned credit for his tactics, including the decision to use five bowlers in the first six overs of New Zealand’s innings.
“It was one of (Buttler’s) best games as captain. In his 100th T20 international he has really stepped up,” Eoin Morgan, who was replaced as captain by Buttler in June, told Sky Sports.
“Every chance he had to influence the game, he tried to take a wicket. He brings Mark Wood back in play, starts spin, rotates five bowlers for first six overs.
“He uses all his experience and he flies high. I thought he was in control of his emotions very well and made brilliant decisions.”
Former England captain Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports Buttler he had “clearly done his homework on match-ups”.