Jos Buttler, who skippered the side in Morgan’s absence, admitted that the English openers have been a pillar of their strength for a long period of time. Buttler also insisted that the partnership between Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow was brilliant to watch as a fan of the game.
After opting to bat first, England were on top of the game, restricting India to 37/2. However, from there on, ordinary bowling and a brilliant partnership between Virat Kohli and KL Rahul ensured that India kept the scoreboard ticking. Despite a valiant partnership between Rahul and Rishabh Pant, in the end, India could only get to 336 after 50 overs.
For England’s batting order, it was never going to be an uphill battle but given their failure in the first ODI, from a position of dominance, it put them under immense pressure. While India decided to take it deep to the 50 overs, England’s approach was rather different, blazing from the word go. Buttler in the post-match presentation admitted that the openers have been a pillar of strength for England for a long period of time.
“And then the guys came out and played fantastically well, the intent and partnerships from the start made it a brilliant chase. The openers have been a pillar of our strength for a long period of time. Delighted for Jonny and that partnership with Ben Stokes was brilliant to watch, as a fellow player and a fan. Some of the strokes they played and the commitment to play that way,” Buttler told host broadcasters Star Sports.
Regarding their first innings effort, the stand-in skipper was happy with the bowling performance from the visitors, adding that their efforts in the middle-over were crucial for the result.
“Delighted with the response of the guys. I thought we put in a very good bowling performance as well to restrict India to that total. Look at how well they played in the last 10 overs, so I thought the guys in the middle overs did well to restrict them,” he added.
While England failed to finish the game in the first ODI, after having batted their way to a good position, their approach was well criticised. However, Buttler insisted that it was crucial for England to commit to their playing style. He also hailed the influence of spin duo Moeen Ali-Adil Rashid as changing the game.
“Some people talked about our way and if we need to be smarter - of course we want to play smart cricket but it's important to commit to our style of play when the conditions suit. Moeen and Adil bowled well in tandem, they are great friends and they enjoy bowling together. We've played on some good wickets here, and a winner takes all game at the end, so we'll look forward to that,” he concluded.