Jos Buttler said on Sunday after losing 2-1 to India in the ODI series at Old Trafford. that England was “not producing what we are capable of”.
England appeared to be in a good position to defend when Reece Topley dismissed Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit, and Virat Kohli, leaving India reeling at 38-3. However, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya soon changed the course of the game and helped India win over England.
“I thought we were short (of running). It took a good start that we really were (with the ball). Throughout the summer until now, we haven’t batted the best,” Buttler said after the game.
Regardless of the loss, Reece Topley took three wickets in the decider and managed to finish with a 3/35 figure. Buttler said Topley was a brilliant player for England.
“He has been brilliant for us, putting on the man of game performance in the T20s as well,” he said. “He’s just creaking a bit, it’s been a tough schedule, and we’ll probably have to take care of him.”
Buttler replaced Eoin Morgan as England captain. Buttler said he believed he would keep up with the responsibilities that came with his role.
“At times, I’ve found absolutely fine, to be honest,” he said. “I missed a chance today, but I don’t think that’s got anything to do with captaincy, so I’m not worrying too much about that. I feel good, I’ve been in some of the best form of my life, and I still feel in great touch. Form isn’t just the score.”
He recognized England’s batting was lacking this series, not just because of India’s relentless play, but also due to a relative lack of familiarity with the 50-over format. It was England’s priority from 2015 to 2019, but with the current back-to-back T20 World Cups cycle, the longer white-ball format has been somewhat abandoned.
Pant had an unbeaten 125 from 113 balls, his first ODI hundred. It came after a decisive stand of 133 with Pandya, which allowed India to recover from 72 for four and chase down England’s sub-par total of 259 with five wickets and 47 balls to spare.
When Hardik was on six at the time, he steered away from Brydon Carsen.
“It was a good wicket once you got yourself in, so we were a bit light with the bat. But the start we made with the ball gave us a chance and that missed stumping cost us,” Buttler said.
“Pant is a really good player. If you give good players a chance they will hurt you and had we taken those chances we had a good hold with a long tail. But with the score we put up we had to take all our chances,” he added.
Pant never gave England another opportunity to make an opening. Meanwhile, Hardik’s performance ended on 71 with a good low catch from Ben Stokes at short midwicket.
“If we took those chances, we would probably have had a good hold in the game with a long tail for India,” Buttler said. “But with the score we put up, we were going to need to take all our chances to have a chance of winning the game.
Hardik set the ball for India with his career-best ODI figures of 4-2. Hardik said he was impressed with Pant’s performance.
“Today he played the situation. Our partnership changed the game, and the way he finished the game was special,” he said.