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Men’s ODI WC: Batting first would have been a better decision, says Jos Buttler after England’s 229-run defeat

Mumbai, Oct 21 (IANS) Hammered and humiliated by South Africa in a 229-run defeat — their worst-ever in a one-dayer, England captain Jos Buttler said considering the conditions at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, “batting first would have been a better decision”.

Buttler chose to field first after winning the toss, hoping to restrict South Africa to a manageable score and then chasing the score easily in the dew-laden conditions. But fielding in the hot and humid conditions with temperatures around 32 degrees and humidity 90 per cent, England’s players were totally drained and disheartened that batting proved an onerous task.

They were not helped by an incredibly brutal innings by Heinrich Klaasen, who hammered a 67-ball 109 to help South Africa reach 399/7. In response, England’s innings folded at 170 in 22 overs, slumping to a 229-run defeat.

Buttler said batting first would have been a good decision but he would not sit down and question that decision now.

“Yeah, I think you always reflect after games and sort of question your decisions. Certainly, with hindsight, the sort of physicality of that innings, potentially batting first would have been a better decision, but I’m not going to sort of sit here and question that and in that sense and sort of say, you should have done this or you should have done that,” he said in the post-match press conference on Saturday.

“It’s a decision I took at the time. I thought it was the right one and I still believe if we were chasing 340, 350, we would have done really well in those conditions,” he added.

The England skipper said that a few things did not go right for his team.

“Yeah, a few things didn’t go right. Obviously, Reece picked up a knock and was unsure if he was going to come back. So, I thought Joe Root did a fantastic job there filling in. And yeah, physically it was tough. You know, everyone’s efforts were, you can’t fold anyone’s efforts, but yeah, Klassen and Jansen put together a fantastic partnership there,” he added.

Buttler agreed that Klaasen’s innings took the match away from them. South Africa were 243/5 at one juncture before Klaasena and Jansen took it away from them with a blazing partnership of 151 runs for the sixth wicket.

“Yeah, I think that was the main bit of the game. We had them five down there, and if we could have found a way to break that partnership and take another wicket, you know, we could have looked like restricting them to 340 or 350, which probably would have been a really good chase on that pitch,” said Buttler.

“I think getting up to 400 was an excellent score, it sort of took the wind away from us and it was always going to be tough from there, we needed everything to go perfect to pull off a chase like that,” he added.

Though chasing 400 was a big ask, Buttler believed that it was gettable and did not expect his team to fold for 170.

“No obviously not (expect it). Some fantastic players there and even though it’s going to be a tough ask, there’s still belief in the dressing room. You know, we’d need everything to sort of go right to pull off a chase like that. But, getting things caught down the leg side, caught leg slip, those kind of dismissals, it sort of feels like it’s not going to be your day,” he added.



Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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