Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ICC: Morgan – We’re watching Buttler change the game

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Photo Credit: BCCI

Jos Buttler isn’t just propelling England through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, he’s changing the way the game is played.

That’s the view of his captain Eoin Morgan, who watched on gleefully as the opener made a brutal unbeaten 71 and his side beat Australia by eight wickets.

The innings was highlighted by 23 runs scored over long-on, including three towering sixes through that region that all travelled more than 90 metres.

Morgan marvelled over Buttler, who hit five fours and five sixes in the 32-ball masterclass, and highlighted the impact he’s having on the entire sport.

“I think he’s certainly one of our players — there are a few of them, that are at the forefront of change in the game,” said Morgan.

“He’s one of the best players in the game but yet he’s still trying to improve his game and get better against every single bowler that he faces.

“It’s not just targeting bowlers that might suit him, it’s every bowler.

“When you’ve got guys that are at the forefront of change within the game and like positive change, taking-the-game-forward type stuff, it says a lot about the guy.”

Buttler starred with the bat but it was England’s superb display with ball in hand – for the third game in a row – that laid the foundations for a landmark victory.

Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan helped reduce Australia to 21-4, before Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone turned the screw in the middle overs.

Jordan came back to take two wickets in two balls, including getting rid of Finch for a determined 44.

Morgan didn’t use Moeen Ali in the first six overs, as he did to great effect in England’s first two victories.

“It’s just a reflection on my captaincy,” the England skipper said of the decision.
“The matchups at the time didn’t suit. They do suit for some of the Australian players, but they were already dismissed, and I thought that worked really well.

“Moeen is quite a relaxed guy and knows the role that he plays both before the game and during the game. That’s always communicated across all of the bowling unit.

“We try and adapt and talk about what might work on the wicket against different players, and today unfortunately he wasn’t needed.”

Finch was unambiguous about the fact that it was those early wickets that led to his side’s downfall.

Some suggested that the decision to select Ashton Agar over Mitchell Marsh left Australia short in the batting department.

“All credit to England in that powerplay, the way that they squeezed us, kept taking wickets,” said Finch.

“Obviously when you go in with specialist batters that probably is going to leave you a little bit short at times. It’s not an ideal scenario when you go in with that structured team.

“The reason Agar was in there was we felt it was a really good matchup for England. His ability to bowl in the powerplay and through the middle overs in the past against England has been really good.

“We just thought that that was the way to go tonight. It was not a reflection on how Mitch has been going at all. It was purely just a matchup thing for this game. It was unfortunate we didn’t get the job done.”

Finch’s side face Bangladesh and West Indies next as they bid to emerge from Group 1.

“They’re definitely must-wins,” he said.

“I think the net run rate took a hammering tonight. We’re going to have to be at our best again.

“Bangladesh are a very, very good side and so are the West Indies, a lot of firepower in their team, a lot of experience. It’s must-win from now on, but we’re looking forward to it.”

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