Root: Buttler needs time to 'evolve' England after Morgan era

By Sports Desk July 20, 2022

Jos Buttler must be granted time and patience to help England "evolve" as a white-ball side after a disappointing start to his captaincy following Eoin Morgan's international retirement.

That is the message from Joe Root, whose 86 at Durham on Tuesday was not enough to stop Buttler's team falling to a 62-run defeat against South Africa.

England lost back-to-back white-ball series against India before the defeat in the first of a three-match ODI series with South Africa following Buttler the appointment of Buttler as Eoin Morgan's successor. 

Buttler has also failed to deliver with the bat since taking the captaincy, passing 50 just once in his past seven innings - including three single-figure scores.

Though the wicketkeeper-batter has lost five of his first seven games in charge, Root has backed Buttler as England go through a transitional period following Morgan's retirement.

"I think for Jos and a number of the guys who've been around this setup for a couple of years, there's been a lot of change in a very short space of time," said the former Test captain.

"And that sometimes can just take a little bit of getting used to and there's not been that time yet where you can really sit and reflect and sort of work things out.

"So I think there has to be some sort of understanding towards that. But they are big figures that you mentioned, influential players, and that creates great opportunities for guys to step right up and really take hold of a few positions within the team and not just in terms of performance, but in filling those leadership voids as well.

"There are some very talented players, some great cricket minds that can go on and do some special things like Eoin has done and Ben [Stokes] has done as well for the last seven to 10 years."

The ODI retirement of Test captain Stokes, who has stepped away from 50-over internationals as he says playing in all three formats is "unst, gives Buttler another issue to contend with in his middle order.

While Stokes embodied the attacking and front-foot approach that Morgan's team embraced en route to winning the Cricket World Cup final in 2019, Root urged England to now adapt and evolve.

"I think as a team, you've always got to look to evolve," he added. "You always do. And I think we did that very well over a four-year period. 

"I don't think we just said 'right this is how we're going to do it for four years and we can't move away from that.'

"I think we grew and we evolved and developed and became good in different situations in different conditions around the world. We had to be if we were going to be consistent and take some of the best teams on in their own conditions.

"I think that's exactly as things will have to happen moving forward as well. I know Jos has got a great cricket mind, he understands this game brilliantly.

"He's going to be a great captain. And I don't think these results are a fair reflection of the way that he's going about his business as a leader.

"Sometimes it does take time for things to bed in. I don't think it will take that long with him. I just think that we haven't had a lot of the format. We've had a very busy schedule."

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