England’s talismanic wicketkeeper-batter Jos Buttler has conceded that he and skipper Eoin Morgan were feeling the heat after losing three quick wickets and the run-rate plummeting to abysmal levels during the ICC T20 World Cup game against former T20 World champions Sri Lanka here.
But then “setting the sights a little bit lower” helped them calm down and concentrate on the rebuilding process before blasting off to post a competitive 163/4 on the board.
Tottering at 35/3 in the sixth over and some 47-odd runs at the half-way mark, things looked dismal for England but Buttler’s unbeaten century off 67 balls — which incidentally is the only ton in this edition of the T20 World Cup so far — put the 2010 World T20 champions back to dictating the terms.
From 35/3 in 5.2 overs, England raced to 147/4 in 18.2 thanks to Buttler and skipper Eoin Morgan getting into the rescue act.
“In a way (we were worried). I think sort of the way we were finding the wicket, we were sort of talking about 120 might be a good score to keep us in the game. Obviously that would have been well short with the way the conditions changed,” said Buttler.
“But I think sometimes when you set your sights a little bit lower, it allows you to stay a bit calmer, and we found that if we did get in and keep extending the partnership, they (runs) would come to us and we would be able to accelerate. The depth we had in the team with (Liam) Livingstone, Moeen Ali, (Chris) Woakes, C.J. (Chris Jordan) all to come, it does allow you to play with freedom at the same time.”
Coming off a stiff test against Sri Lanka, who were well positioned to go the distance before losing by 26 runs, England have kept their slate clean, winning four-out-of-four games, and Buttler said that the momentum was with his side.
“I think four from four is exactly what we want. We want to win every game we play in. I think the format is tough, and there’s not much room for error, so every game is a massive game. Like I say, we had to bat first, and to still come through and win the game, we’re obviously really happy with that.”
He credited the experience of Morgan and and himself for pulling the team through some tight corners on Monday.
“Yeah, I think experience. I think myself and Morgs (Morgan), we’ve played quite a few games now where we just tried to soak up the pressure and build a partnership. We were finding it tricky, and generally if you’re finding it hard work, the guys behind you would probably find it hard work, as well, so we didn’t panic. We allowed ourselves time and sort of tried to take the options against the bowlers we felt more comfortable against, and at the ends we felt more comfortable against with one shorter side on the ground.”