The skipper says his team „discovered some good things” ahead of next year's T20 World Cup defence
Roller: Salt has worked hard to improve the game
Matt Roller discusses the development England opener Phil Salt has made in recent months in his off-side game
Despite England's loss in the T20 series against the West Indies, Jos Buttler says he feels the tour was a success. „It's hard to say when you lose, but I think we found some good things,” said his side, who were beaten by four wickets in the decider in Trinidad.
England haven't found any truth in this five-match series against the 2016 T20 World Champions as they chase victory.
After suffering two consecutive defeats to start the series, England held a group meeting where they vowed to change their approach to „fight fire with fire” against a West Indies side that hit 13 sixes in the opening match. Two devices.
Two consecutive wins followed, both defined by brilliant centuries from Bill Salt, and despite letting it slip away in the fifth and final game, Buttler and co were tasked with getting a good handle on the conditions.
„Yeah I think so,” Butler said. „You want to win, we all want to win the series. It's hard to say when you lose, but I think we found some good things.
„Obviously some players have stood up and done well. We've played five games here in the Caribbean and we've had a good look at what the conditions will be like for the World Cup in six months. So yeah, it's over. Good series.”
However, England have won just four of 12 T20Is this year and are winless in any of the three series they have played. The team is still considered capable and genuine contenders for the World Cup in June, but the winning habit has deserted them.
„Not really, [but] I've definitely had some low moments,” said Buttler, reflecting on his own 2023 and whether he ever thought about giving up the captaincy. „It was a huge disappointment in my career. [ODI] The World Cup is just over, but after you're dusted off, there's a huge drive and determination to keep going and get another crack at it. And so that desire burns even stronger.”
There is a stark contrast between the public message of positivity and the private feeling of exasperation after this latest debacle. As England gathered for a post-series drink in a hotel, the TV in the corner was showing highlights of their defeat. Then the butler came and turned it off.
Of course, there are positives. Salt has been a revelation, Adil Rashid has further proved his world-class status, Reece Dobley has been excellent on his return from injury and Liam Livingstone's move up to No.4 looks more appropriate.
There is no shame in losing to the West Indies, who have beaten South Africa, India and now England in successive series.
„I hope so,” replied Buttler, when asked if the series features two of the best T20 teams in the world. “Two good teams and we had a fantastic series.
“We're not playing together as a team right now [until May] But everyone is going to play a lot of T20 cricket in various tournaments around the world, so that's a plus. We hope to come here and look forward to a good World Cup.”
Buttler highlighted the death bowling as part of the particular improvement England are seeing, with Jofra Archer a key reason for optimism.
„It's good to be in these conditions [to] See what can work on those scenarios. If you can execute your yorkers, I think that's the best ball in T20.
„I haven't spoken to Joffe. I saw him in Barbados and it was good to see him training with us and bowling well. I know the medical team and the staff have a good plan for him and I think I speak. On behalf of all England cricket fans and cricket fans around the world we Joffe We want to see it again and again. So I think it's important that he takes his time.”
In the last two T20s, Buttler opted for wicket-keeping and the gloves were handed to Salt. Mode expected Buttler to return behind the stumps, but the skipper remained in the outfield and appeared to be open to the option of staying there for the World Cup.
„It might take me a few days to think about it. Sometimes it's good to be close to the bowler during the over, but when you're wicket-keeping you can always run down and back. It's kind of the same thing. From the outside, it's slow or it doesn't look right. So, I don't know. I like to see what happens behind the stumps as a wicket-keeper, but I also enjoy fielding. I don't have a big preference at the moment to be honest.”
Cameron Ponsonby is a freelance cricket writer based in London. @CameronPonsonB
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