12/04/2022
England captain Jos Buttler on Tuesday insisted that his side did not think too much about the shock defeat against Ireland as it knew that it had the confidence, and the squad, to bounce back in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

England were under pressure after their defeat to Ireland on October 26, but they kept their semifinal hopes alive with a 20-run win against New Zealand here on Tuesday.

“We didn’t think too much about the past poor performance (loss to Ireland), we have great players in the playing XI and in the squad, we had the confidence that showed up today,” Buttler said at the post-match presentation.

“We bat deep, I thought the wicket was a little bit tricky, especially against spin and I thought Alex Hales played a fine hand, it’s all about partnerships, one day he gets going, some other day it’ll be my turn.”

Buttler, who was named the Man of the Match for his 47-ball 73, said teams will be under pressure in some ways in such a big tournament.

“It’s a ruthless tournament, last year South Africa went out despite having four wins out of five games. This is a World Cup, there will be pressure and the best teams do thrive under it.”

Talking further about the match, he said, “The game was shaped in different ways, facing spin was tough, we wanted to be flexible with both bat and ball – the way Moeen bowled that fantastic first over, he put New Zealand under a lot of pressure.

“Hales played brilliantly, we know what he is capable. You need to be patient in T20 cricket, you need to keep backing guys. It’s important to keep pushing them and keep encouraging them.”

Buttler said his decision to bat first after winning the toss was the right one. “We were aiming for 160-165, but we managed to push beyond that. We have had success batting first. The games against Australia, we won batting first. You always need to take wickets in the second half.

“Batting first was the right option for us today. The pitch was a bit damp. He (Curran) has been bowling well, hitting the wickets hard. First and foremost we need to win against Sri Lanka (in next game).”

On going past Eoin Morgan as England’s leading run-scorer in men’s T20Is, Buttler said, “It’s nice at the end of a career when you look back at things on an individual level.”

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson admitted that England were the better side on the day. “Credit to the way England played, they put us under pressure. They played beautifully, hats-off to them, they were pretty clinical,” Williamson said.

“It was a slightly above par total. We tried to take it little deep, but credit to the way they bowled. It was quite tricky.”

Williamson dropped Buttler when the England captain was on 8 inside the powerplay. The Kiwi skipper seemed to have taken a blinder at the covers but the ball spilled out of his hands.

“You don’t want to be doing that (drop Buttler’s catch), he’ll make you pay. He played a beautiful knock in a big game for them. I thought I had squeezed it (Buttler’s catch) in my chest, it was a bit embarrassing in the end as I looked at the replays,” Williamson said.

“He (Phillips) has been batting beautifully, he got a hundred in the last game, and changed the momentum in our favour somewhat today. You will be put under pressure in such tournaments, but we need to take the positives and move on to the next game.”