Buttler tempers Archer expectations despite crashing return in Pakistan triumph

By Sports Desk May 26, 2024

Jofra Archer may not immediately return with the crashing impact he previously had on England, but Jos Buttler is looking forward to utilising the fast bowler after his lengthy injury lay-off.

Rapid pacer Archer capped his first England performance in over a year with two wickets as England secured a 23-run victory over Pakistan in their T20I at Edgbaston.

With the upcoming T20 World Cup on the horizon, England captain Buttler was delighted to have Archer back in the fold – but warned his workload must be managed.

"I thought he was brilliant; you can see the emotion, taking wickets again, is fantastic," said Buttler, who plundered 84 off just 54 deliveries in the first innings to set the tone.

"He's not just going to be the Jofra Archer of old straight away, but a really positive performance.

"It's absolutely trying to get overs into Jofra but looking after him as well. I thought the whole bowling group was brilliant."

Buttler's knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, marked the second-highest score by an England captain in a T20I, behind Eoin Morgan's 91 against New Zealand in 2019.

On his own performance, Buttler added: "You always want to be playing well. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well, which is great."

Pakistan appeared to be setting their chase of 184 up well as Babar Azam crafted a fine 32, along with Fakhar Zaman's quickfire 45 off just 21 balls.

Yet the Pakistan captain fell lbw to Moeen Ali, with Fakhar then holing out off Liam Livingstone to Harry Brook in the deep as the visitors unfurled in Birmingham.

"Mostly we are flexible and everyone knows their role," Babar said after the defeat. "Before the series, we decided to go with these roles, so we're clear.

"The way Fakhar dominated after the early wickets fell. I think if me and Fakhar had batted for four or five more overs, then we could have won."

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