Only three weeks after a miserable World Cup campaign came to a conclusion Jos Buttler is back on tour and preparing for another one-day international series, pledging to “use it as a positive experience” as work starts on refreshing and rejuvenating England’s ODI side.
Buttler averaged only 15.33 with the bat as England lost six of their nine matches in India, but insists that after spending some time reflecting on that campaign he has lost none of his confidence either as a player or a captain.
“I’ve got to use it as motivation and hunger to push myself and the team forward,” he said. “I’ve got to go into the rest of my career making sure I use that as a positive experience. It’s a huge disappointment but it doesn’t define me as a person or my whole career. I’ll just use it as something to make sure I look forward now and enjoy the challenges ahead.”
Buttler has given no thought to moving from his position in the middle order – “It’s been my super-strength in this format and I want to nail down on that even more” – or questioned his judgment, despite making several decisions at the toss that ended up contributing to defeats.
“It’s easy to be captain hindsight, isn’t it? At the end of the day if you don’t play well enough to implement your plan, the decisions can become a bit irrelevant,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to be someone who at the end of the game says: ‘I should have done something different.’ You’ve got to trust yourself.”
Though there was little time to decompress between returning from the World Cup and departing for Antigua, where a three-game series against West Indies starts on Sunday, Buttler swiftly shrugged off his World Cup hangover.
“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I have got good perspective,” he said. “I get home and have got two children who don’t really care about the World Cup. I’m a very proud guy and have disappointments, but life moves on, the world moves pretty fast. There’s always something to look forward to. It’s never as bad as you think it is, and it’s never as good as you think it is.”
Only six of the 16 players involved in the World Cup will feature in this series though another, Reece Topley, is already with the squad and preparing for the Twenty20s that follow. Phil Salt and Will Jacks will top a batting lineup otherwise strong on Test experience: of the other specialist batters Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope have all played more Tests than ODIs and Harry Brook has appeared in 12 of each.
“It’s certainly a bit of a new beginning,” Buttler said. “There’s some really exciting talent in this team, young guys eager to get their opportunities and perform. There’s some guys who’ve not been exposed to ODI cricket a lot but have a lot of experience in Test cricket.
“There’s a nice blend, I think, a real hunger but some high-class players who have done some great things in international cricket already. There’s some great energy and the Caribbean is a nice place to start this journey.”