Buttler admits England may not be at their best for ODI series vs Australia


Jos Buttler recognises the difficulty of England playing so soon after their T20 World Cup triumph but is sure an ODI series against Australia will get the “competitive juices” going.

Only four days separate England becoming the first men’s side to unify the limited-overs World Cups, beating Pakistan in the T20 final, and the start of an ODI series against Australia at Adelaide.

The timing of the three-match series, which does not count towards qualification for next year’s 50-over World Cup in India, was labelled “horrible” by Moeen Ali, and Buttler agreed with the sentiment.

But the England captain, speaking to the media on the eve of Thursday’s opener, insisted they will not be going through the motions, adding the threat of their Ashes rivals can give them some impetus.

“There’s no point saying all the right things, that we’ll be at our best,” he said.

“It’s tough, I think, absolutely. But we just get on with it. It is a fast turnaround, there’s no point hiding away that it will be a challenge for us, having had such a high a few days ago.

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Watch highlights from the T20 World Cup final as England beat Pakistan by five wickets at the MCG to become dual white-ball world champions

“We just go into it trying to really enjoy the games and play with lots of freedom – not that we need any excuse to do that.

“Once you get over the line and you’re playing against Australia, I’m sure those competitive juices will get going.”

At least three members of the England side that took to the field on Sunday will be in Thursday’s XI, but this series offers chances for those on the fringes such as James Vince and Sam Billings.

Vince registered his sole international hundred in his most recent ODI against Pakistan last year and is an option to partner Jason Roy, back with England after being overlooked for the T20 World Cup.

England's Jos Buttler, right, celebrates teammate Sam Curran after England defeated Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup Cricket tournament at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
Image: Victorious England skipper Buttler says the Australia ODI series will get the ‘competitive juices’ going

Fast bowler Luke Wood and spinner Liam Dawson have been travelling reserves in recent weeks and may join quick Olly Stone, on the comeback trail from injury, in offering some alternative options.

While Buttler was tight-lipped over his team selection, he indicated Dawid Malan, who missed the knockout stages of the World Cup after tweaking his left groin, is expected to be available.

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Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton hails the progress England have made over the last few years in white-ball cricket and says they are without doubt the team to beat

“He was fit to play in the final,” Buttler said. “There was an element of risk there which we didn’t want to take but it’s had a few more days. I’m sure he’ll be in a place to play.

“There’s fresh energy, some fantastic players are coming in and want to stamp their mark. There’s such depth in talent in the white-ball game, it’s tough to get in the final XI and good players miss out.

“A few guys maybe didn’t have as many chances as they would have liked throughout the World Cup but they’re desperate to perform. It’s always the mark of a good team when good players are missing out.”

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England all-rounder, Moeen Ali says he and the England squad are still buzzing following their dramatic T20 World Cup win over Pakistan

England’s celebrations at the weekend included Matthew Mott having his head shaved by Moeen after a bet with Sam Curran, who apparently has to have his hair dyed in the colour of the head coach’s choice.

“I actually feel for Sam, I think he’s been shafted there because the deal, in my eyes, was only to shave Motty’s hair,” Buttler added. “But he’s now come out with Sam having to dye his.

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Sam Curran was named Player of the Match in the T20 World Cup Final and Player of the Tournament after taking 13 wickets in six matches

“But it gave everyone a lot of energy when he came into the room and I think Mo had shaved his head. Fair play to him for sticking to his word, I’m not sure it’s going to grow back for him, to be honest!

“We’ve certainly celebrated and enjoyed it. Over the last few days, it’s really started to sink in what we achieved. It’s been fantastic to have a bit of time to think about that.

“We’re a long way away but I’m so proud of everyone out here and we enjoyed it, it’s been great.”

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