Jos Buttler expressed disappointment in the wake of England’s 69-run loss to Afghanistan but maintains confidence in the team’s ability to rebound with character and resilience.

England’s captain, Jos Buttler, expressed his deep disappointment with the team’s performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Afghanistan, where the defending champions were defeated by a margin of 69 runs. After winning the toss, Buttler chose to bowl first, but his team struggled to contain Afghanistan, particularly as Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran formed a 114-run partnership, helping Afghanistan reach a total of 284 runs.

“We’ve come here wanting to put in a really good performance. We got outplayed today. Afghanistan were fully deserving of their victory. It never feels good, you never like losing games of cricket or not performing to the level you want to,” Buttler conceded in the post-match session.

England’s bowlers had a shaky start, with eight wide runs conceded in the first five overs, allowing the Afghan openers to capitalize with 79 runs during the powerplay. While England’s spinners managed to slow down Afghanistan in the middle overs, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, and Ikram Alikhil fought back to reach a commendable total.

Jos Buttler acknowledged the team’s poor start, saying, “No, we started poorly. The first ball of the game I missed one, and it sort of set the tone for the first 10 overs. We didn’t hit the areas that we wanted to. Credit to Gurbaz, as he put us under a lot of pressure, played some good shots, but maybe we gave away a few too many easy boundaries. But it took us a while to get into the game, and we came back well. Then maybe we allowed them to score a few too many at the end.”

The skipper didn’t mince words when he labeled the defeat as a significant setback for England, acknowledging that the reality didn’t match their pre-tournament expectations. He emphasized the need for the team to display character, resilience, and unwavering belief to stage a comeback. Buttler also addressed the discrepancy between their game plan and the actual conditions, especially the lack of expected dew during the second innings.

“Yeah, it’s a big setback obviously. Before the tournament starts you have a different idea of how the first three games would pan out. We’ve got to show a lot of character, a lot of resilience within the team and most of all a lot of belief. Though Afghanistan built good pressure on us, maybe the wicket didn’t play exactly how we thought it would play and maybe the dew didn’t come in as much as we thought as well. You know I think it’s a position you find yourselves in, it’s not the position you wanted to be in three games ago but the character is excellent as I’ve mentioned, there’ll always be belief and we’ll dust ourselves down and go again,” he said.

Buttler further explained that England’s selection strategy was influenced by India’s choice to include an extra fast bowler while keeping Moeen Ali on the bench. They anticipated similar pitch conditions and the arrival of dew in the second half of the match.

However, regardless of their lineup, England’s performance fell short, and he credited Afghanistan for their well-deserved victory.

“I think whichever line-up we had, we just weren’t good enough today and we didn’t play well enough and full credit to Afghanistan, they deserve to win,” Buttler concluded.

Last Updated on October 16, 2023

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