Jos Buttler 'one of the best one-day players in the world', says Alex Hales
Alex Hales believes Jos Buttler is transforming into "one of the best one-day players in the world" after his century fired England to victory over South Africa in Bloemfontein.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler, promoted to number four, struck his second successive one-day international hundred, and fourth in total, to help the tourists amass 399 for nine following Eoin Morgan's decision to bat.
The 25-year-old followed his 46-ball ton against Pakistan last year, which broke his own record for the fastest ODI century by an England batsman, with 105 off 76 balls at the Manguang Oval to give England a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
Hales, who also struck 57 from the top of the order, told Sky Sports 2: "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."
England skipper Morgan added at the post-match presentation: "Jos was phenomenal. He has shown a lot of promise in his short career as an England wicketkeeper-batsman and he is certainly someone who can change the game in the future."
England made good on Morgan's decision to make first use as Hales, Joe Root and Ben Stokes all complemented Butler's ton with half-centuries to help them record their highest total overseas, which included a national record of 15 maximums.
"Absolutely, 399 you would take every day of the week," Morgan added. "It was a monumental effort.
"The tone was really started at the top of the order with the two openers and it continued right down through our innings."
South Africa, led by opening batsman Quinton de Kock, refused to be overawed by their chase of 400.
De Kock had 138 to his name when rain prevented the Proteas from adding to their 250 for five in the 34th over, handing England a 39-run Duckworth-Lewis win.
"It is a nice way to start the series with a win," Morgan added. "Rain interrupted things which was a little bit disappointing because we would have liked to have a full game.
"We have got a really young side and we want to play a strong South African side that they have put out. It would have been a fantastic game of cricket, with a good finish, so it is disappointing it ended this way."