England 'in a really good place' despite series defeats in India – Buttler

By Sports Desk March 29, 2021

Jos Buttler feels England's tour of India served the team well despite series defeats in the Tests, Twenty20 Internationals and ODIs.

England won the Test opener but went down 3-1 over four matches, while they twice led a five-match T20 series before a 3-2 loss.

The tourists were always chasing in the ODIs, both across the series – after India's opening win – and in all three matches, as they bowled first on each occasion.

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes led a superb victory in the second ODI, but Sunday's decider saw India edge to a seven-run victory despite the best efforts of Sam Curran, who equalled the highest score for a batsman coming in at eight in an ODI with an unbeaten 95.

Defeat meant England have still only won one multi-game bilateral ODI series in India, losing the past six in a row.

The world champions have also been beaten in back-to-back series for the first time since a run of three in 2014 (two against Sri Lanka and one versus India).

But stand-in captain Buttler, who was defeated for just the third time as skipper in ODIs, maintained a positive outlook going forward.

"We've been a brilliant side for a long period of time now," he said. "I think we lost those two series [the T20s and ODIs], but that's two losses in our last 11 series.

"So, we're still a very good side, expanding that talent pool. There's been a few guys obviously missing from this side and guys coming in to have opportunities, which is fantastic.

"And that's been a big part of us getting better and better as a side. We never want to put limitations on what we're capable of. We'll continue to try to push the boundaries and strive to do that.

"And I think the exposure of players coming in and continuing to play in that fashion that we expect is great.

"Expanding that talent pool and pushing each other from within and building the strength in the squad, and the competition for places in the XI, is only going to continue to improve our side.

"So of course, it's again a long cycle looking ahead to a World Cup, but we always want to learn, and you want to win at the same time. We're of course disappointed when we don't do that.

"But of course, there are big pictures moving forward and we'll continue to be a very good side.

"There's more and more experience in guys, a lot of guys, in and around 100 caps as well. So, the experience in the squad is huge, and the exposure for other guys coming in is vital as well.

"I think we're in a really good place as a side."

England have a packed schedule this year before heading back to India in October for the World Twenty20, a tournament in which they were beaten in the final in dramatic fashion five years ago.

Buttler added: "We came here wanting to win. We play the game to win matches and to win series.

"And in the must-win games at the end of these T20 or one-dayers, we haven't quite managed to do that. So of course, we were disappointed with that.

"But there'll be some great learnings taken from the tour, some great exposure to players playing in this part of the world for the first time.

"I think once again expanding the talent pool available to us in one-day cricket, building ahead to the T20 World Cup in a few months' time and of course the 2023 World Cup later on down the line here as well.

"So, any time we expand that player pool, that creates competition, that creates better performance and that's the upward trajectory that we're always after as a side, that continuous improvement."

Related items

  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

    Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 46 points as he became the player with the most wins in the Milwaukee Bucks' history on Friday, with the Chicago Bulls beaten 113-97 at United Center.

    For Milwaukee coach Doc Rivers, however, the focus is squarely on preparing for the postseason as the Bucks eye their third NBA Championship.

    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

    The win was the 489th of Antetokounmpo's Bucks career including both regular-season and playoff games, taking the two-time NBA MVP clear of Sidney Moncrief as the winningest player in franchise history.

    "Everybody has to be on the same page, and I feel like the last couple of games, we're doing that and that's why our defense has taken a step," Antetokounmpo said after the win. 

    "Hopefully, we can keep it up. Right now, it's just about trust. We've just got to trust one another. That's it, win or lose, we have to have the same trust."

    For coach Rivers, who has led the team to an 8-7 run since replacing Adrian Griffin in January, all that matters is ensuring Milwaukee are ready for the postseason.

    "We're winning games, but for us, it's not about that right now," Rivers said. "Our whole key is getting ready. That's the first thing I told the players. 

    "We still have work to do, we're still pushing, we've got to get better. It's nicer to get wins than to lose, but we're not where we want to be yet."

    Milwaukee, who sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 40-21 record, are back in action against the 38-20 Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. 

    They then embark on a four-game California road stretch on Wednesday, when they face the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. 

  • 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors 'I feel 40' – Birthday boy Doncic dispatches Raptors

    Luka Doncic quipped he feels like he is 40 years old after he celebrated his 25th birthday in style.

    Doncic became the first player in NBA history to finish with a triple-double on their birthday as he led the Dallas Mavericks to a 136-125 win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

    He finished with 30 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for his 11th triple-double of the season.

    Doncic has now had 39 30-point triple-doubles, which sees him surpass LeBron James in the all-time list for that feat.

    When asked if he considered his 25th birthday as a milestone, Doncic joked: "I feel like [I'm] 40, so no."

    Doncic was 11 for 23 from the field and missed 7 of 8 from 3-point range in his 67th career triple-double.

    "Just a normal game, triple-double," Jason Kidd said.

    "He was really good. I guess 25 means he's still going to be really good as he gets older here."

    Kyrie Irving scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and P.J. Washington Jr. added 23 points for Dallas, as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats.

    "Kyrie and Luka, they had such a poise in important moments to make the right plays," said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic after his team saw a three-game winning streak snapped.

    Doncic added: "We just played aggressive on defense, got out on transition, that's it. 

    "My team knows when I'm engaged. Everybody helps everyone to be engaged.

    "I'm having so much fun. Back-to-back is always tough, a great win today, I've got to get some rest now."

  • Matthew Potts targeting England recall after ‘massive step forward’ with Lions Matthew Potts targeting England recall after ‘massive step forward’ with Lions

    Matthew Potts is ready to press his claims for a Test recall this summer after a starring role for England Lions in India saw the seamer take “a massive step forward”.

    The Durham bowler missed out on the senior tour, which concludes in Dharamsala next week with the tourists 3-1 down, but grabbed his opportunity with England’s second string with both hands.

    In three four-day matches against India A, Potts was the most prolific wicket-taker from either side, claiming 20 scalps at an average of 16.95, including back-to-back six-fors.

    With all six of his Tests caps coming on home soil, Potts believes the experience has already made him a better player and hopes it can provide a springboard for the next phase of his international career.

    “Of course I was disappointed not to get in the 16 for India, anyone in my position would be, but I’ve used the chance to learn with the Lions,” he told the PA news agency.

    “It was nice to put some performances together out there on pitches that weren’t offering me too much. It’s been a case of proving to myself, and hopefully showing the selectors, that I’m heading in the right direction.

    “It was a massive step forward for me in my journey as a cricketer, because I want to be a rounded bowler – not just someone who is useful in England. It was good, hard cricket and big learning experience.

    “You’ve got to work slightly harder out there because of the temperatures and the pitches but that’s to be expected; if you find it easy then you’re doing it wrong because you’re not learning.

    “I’ve built up some knowledge and some wisdom out there and if there’s a slot open (with England) know I can be effective. There will be spots available to compete for this summer and I have an eye on that. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, nudging my name forward, see what happens.”

    Potts, who was handed a two-year central contract in October, is now planning to throw himself into pre-season with promoted Durham after two prolific campaigns in Division Two.

    With Stuart Broad now retired, Ollie Robinson’s status uncertain after a disappointing return to the side in Ranchi and Gus Atkinson so far untried at Test level, there is a route opening for a 25-year-old with 23 Test wickets at 29.26 and the likes of Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli among his victims.

    “I leave selection to selectors, they pick the best squads they can to do the job, and I can only control my end and put in performances,” he said.

    “When you’re not selected you try and glean as much information as you can and work out where you can get better. Look at Jimmy Anderson, 41 and still working, still getting better.

    “I didn’t change too much in India but I worked on different methods of dismissal. There were very few outside edges so I was looking for lbws and bowled, trying to hit the stumps a bit more often, and that’s another string to my bow.

    “I want to get out there bowling, taking wickets and winning games of cricket for Durham. That’s what got me into the England team in the first place.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.