Despite the fact that England team may not have won even a single match so far in their tour of India, their ODI team vice-captain Jos Buttler today admitted that the host country is a unique place to play cricket.
Buttler, who was also a part of the England team that lost the five-match Test series 0-4 before this ODI series, said that his side were looking forward to win the do-or-die second match here tomorrow.
“There’s no place like India to come and play cricket. It is a fantastic experience for someone to cherish and really embrace. The atmosphere the other day in Pune (first ODI) was fantastic. The quieter it is, it’s better for us. It’s a fantastic challenge for us and a really enjoyable one,” Buttler said at the pre-match press conference.
“We’ve lost the first match, so straightaway it’s a knock-out game for us tomorrow. Looking ahead, there’s a tournament coming up in the summer and it’s fantastic to be under the pressure,” he added.
Buttler said his side have the capability to make a turnaround as they trail 0-1 in the three-match ODI series after losing the first game by three wickets.
“As a side if we can come from 1-0 down and win the series 2-1… obviously we’ve got to progress one game at a time but I think it is great that we can get that excitement, not just for myself but for the group that straightaway tomorrow is a knockout type of a game. I think that’s a real motivation.”
England failed to defend their best ever total of 350 against India in the first ODI in Pune but Buttler sought to draw positives from that match.
“We reached 350 without anyone going on getting a 100. That’s the difference between the two sides, two guys standing up for the Indian team and going past three figures. Getting to 350 should give us confidence. Guys do go on and make telling contributions, 350 plus is achievable for us as a side,” he said.
“He (Kohli) occupies as much space as anyone else. He’s been in fantastic form for a long period of time. His record is very good. Guys constantly have been coming up with plans for him,” Buttler said of Kohli.
“India have some other fantastic players in their side as well. We can’t focus on just one player and forget about the others. Something we’ve been trying to do as group is focus on our strengths and really back out strengths. Obviously you have to specific plans.”
Back into a vice-captain’s role, Buttler said he’s happy to be under Eoin Morgan.
“Yes definitely, I’m enjoying it. Under Eoin (Morgan), it’s fantastic to have him back. As a wicket-keeper, your role is to always offer advice to the captain and try and come up with plans and solution,” said Buttler.
Showering praise on Morgan, he said: “He has a wealth of experience, he’s played a lot of cricket compared to the young group that we are. He really champions people playing in the way they believe and he goes out and shows that in the way he plays and he has done that for England.
“He’s one of the first revolutionary players for England and that probably shows in the group in the way the people look to him, the way he’s taking his career forward and the way he champions guys to play. He gives guys a lot of confidence to go out there and play in that fashion. He’s very calm under pressure, a very forward thinking guy.” Buttler said he enjoyed his responsibility in the team.
“That’s something I want to be as a player, someone who can win games of cricket for England. That’s the main driving force. The real motivation is to try and win games of cricket for England.”
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings are out of England eleven and Buttler said it would have been great if they could have a couple of substitutes.
“I think it shows the strength and depth of the side. Sam and Jonny have been around with the group and for a long time. Getting them in the XI is the job of the selectors and captain to the pick the team and there’s great competition in our squad.”
(With inputs from PTI)