“There’s certainly no questioning of his position from within the camp,” Buttler said. “I can’t put into words what he’s achieved. Everyone always talks about his captaincy but you forget what a brilliant batsman he’s been for England in over 200 ODIs, that doesn’t just go away overnight. Everyone in the team is backing him.”
Stokes, England’s Test captain, had earlier defended Morgan’s position while speaking at Headingley ahead of his side’s third Test against New Zealand. “Well, he’s only had two low scores, so I wouldn’t say he’s going through a hard time at the moment,” Stokes said.
“I think the press are the only ones giving him a hard time and I think the players have shown it’s not an issue with them. People are allowed to not score many runs – and more than that, he’s our captain. He’s a phenomenal leader and always will be, so I’ve got no issues with anything going on with him at the moment.”
Buttler, who was captaining in his ninth ODI after Morgan’s injury, found out that he would lead the side on Tuesday night and said that he still felt as though he was learning on the job as captain. “I was disappointed for Morgs to miss out but it’s a good challenge and an honour any time you get to captain the team.
“I did enjoy it. It’s a different challenge, of course, trying to work that and [it’s something that] I’ve got to learn about. We bowled really well today: we probably created a couple of chances at the start where maybe we could have picked up a couple more wickets there, but the way we came back and took wickets at a great time to restrict them made it a fantastic bowling display.
“I’d say it’s too early to have a [captaincy] style, really. I’ve got to try and be myself. I’m not Eoin, I can’t try to be him, so I’ll just have to – when I get to do it – try to be myself and be open to learning about it really.”
“The IPL was incredibly special, personally,” he said. “To have a tournament like that, I surprised myself and I really enjoyed that – and I learned a lot about my batting. When you get to a place like that, [it’s about] being hungry to continue that.
“What’s important for us in white-ball cricket in England is we talk about playing in a particular fashion and we must try and live that to the max. Of course, there’s a bit of a risk element to that way of playing but it’s what we ask of everyone. Each individual has to continue to take that forward.”
Buttler will take another short break after this series but plans to play “a couple” of games for Lancashire at the end of the T20 Blast group stage before England’s white-ball series against India and South Africa in July. “Everyone’s desperate to play as much cricket as they can, but there’s a lot of cricket coming up in a short space of time,” he said. “You’ve got to look after people.”
He batted at No. 4 in both of his innings in the series and said he was open to doing so on a regular basis in the future if required, and shut down questions about the prospect of a return to the Test side. “I haven’t had any conversations with anyone about that,” he said. “I’m very happy with where I’m at, at the moment: it might not ever be a question that has to be answered.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98