Jos Buttler – Bangladesh series ‘exactly the kind of challenge we need’ before World Cup
Buttler’s team recently added the T20 World Cup title to the 50-over crown that they won in such memorable fashion at Lord’s in 2019, but their opportunities to finetune the defence of that latter trophy have been impacted by the constraints of the global itinerary.
“It’ll be a great challenge for us,” Buttler said on arrival in Dhaka. “Obviously Bangladesh are very tough to beat in their home conditions, they beat India as well. So this is exactly the kind of challenge we need, nearing the World Cup, to test ourselves in probably the conditions that we as a side will find the hardest. This can be a great measure of where we are as a team.
“We’re expecting a slow and low wicket, which is exactly what we want, to test ourselves in tough conditions which will be great preparation for us moving forward.”
With the ongoing Test tour of New Zealand restricting the availability of some of England’s multi-format players, and with a further group of players choosing to honour their T20 franchise commitments rather than join the tour, England will once again be unable to field their first-choice XI.
“Generally the wicket will be slower, but guys like Jofra and Mark Wood have fantastic airspeed, so someone who can bowl with such pace on these wickets is still a handful. It’s not always to the benefit of the batsman. We have a nice variety in the squad. Right-arm, left-arm, high pace, guys who can swing it … we have a nice balanced attack.
The squad has also been reinforced by the addition of Surrey’s Will Jacks, who has flown in after being an unused reserve on the Test tour of New Zealand, and may challenge for a place at the top of the order, in light of Jason Roy’s struggle for form in recent months, especially after impressing in the recent SA20.
“Rehan is a really exciting talent,” he said. “He’s still a very young man, just a teenager, so we’re excited about his development and where we think he can go.
“It’s great to have him in and around the England set-up. Adil Rashid has been such a star performer for us for a long, long period of time, so getting to spend time with him and discussing bowling and watching each other bowl will be a huge benefit to him, and the biggest stage in his development.
“We’re really excited for someone with so much talent, not just with the ball but with the bat as well. So we look forward to watching him develop and hopefully turning himself into a brilliant international cricketer.”
England’s reputation in white-ball cricket has been built on their aggressive batting approach, with Buttler himself leading the way in their most recent world-record total of 498 against the Netherlands. However, he insisted that the approach was more subtle than simply swinging for the fences at every opportunity.
“We always try and be as aggressive as we can,” he said. “The misconception is that we’re aiming for 400 every time, whereas it’s more about trying to push the boundaries of what’s expected on the day and not settling for par. We’r trying to push the envelope higher. If the maximum that the wicket allows us is 100, can we try and score 100, instead of 80?
“We’re just trying to assess the conditions and imprint our game as much as we can. Of course, you have to understand conditions, but we’ve always been more on the positive side as opposed to the more negative side.”
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“Even if we we’d won that game in 2015, we would have fallen down not far after”•Getty Images