Jos Buttler confident ODI series will get ‘competitive juices’ going

Jos Buttler recognises the difficulty of England playing so soon after their T20 World Cup triumph but is sure an ODI series against Australia will get the “competitive juices” going.

Only four days separate England becoming the first men’s side to unify the limited-overs World Cups, beating Pakistan in the T20 final, and the start of an ODI series against Australia at Adelaide.

The timing of the three-match series, which does not count towards qualification for next year’s 50-over World Cup in India, was labelled “horrible” by Moeen Ali, and Buttler agreed with the sentiment.

Moeen Ali admitted England playing so soon after winning the T20 World Cup was
Moeen Ali admitted England playing so soon after winning the T20 World Cup was ‘horrible’ (Tim Goode/PA)

But the England captain, speaking to the media on the eve of Thursday’s opener, insisted they will not be going through the motions, adding the threat of their Ashes rivals can give them some impetus.

“It’s tough, I think, absolutely,” Buttler said. “But we just get on with it. It is a fast turnaround, there’s no point hiding away that it will be a challenge for us, having had such a high a few days ago.

“We just go into it trying to really enjoy the games and play with lots of freedom – not that we need any excuse to do that.

“Once you get over the line and you’re playing against Australia, I’m sure those competitive juices will get going.”

At least three members of the England side that took to the field on Sunday will be in Thursday’s XI, but this series offers chances for those on the fringes such as James Vince and Sam Billings.

James Vince made a century in his last ODI (Martin Rickett/PA)
James Vince made a century in his last ODI (Martin Rickett/PA)

Vince registered his sole international hundred in his most recent ODI against Pakistan last year and is an option to partner Jason Roy, back with England after being overlooked for the T20 World Cup.

Fast bowler Luke Wood and spinner Liam Dawson have been travelling reserves in recent weeks and may join quick Olly Stone, on the comeback trail from injury, in offering some alternative options.

While Buttler was tight-lipped over his team selection, he indicated Dawid Malan, who missed the knockout stages of the World Cup after tweaking his left groin, is expected to be available.

“He was fit to play in the final,” Buttler said. “There was an element of risk there which we didn’t want to take but it’s had a few more days. I’m sure he’ll be in a place to play.

“There’s fresh energy, some fantastic players are coming in and want to stamp their mark. There’s such depth in talent in the white-ball game, it’s tough to get in the final XI and good players miss out.

“A few guys maybe didn’t have as many chances as they would have liked throughout the World Cup but they’re desperate to perform. It’s always the mark of a good team when good players are missing out.”

England’s celebrations at the weekend included Matthew Mott having his head shaved by Moeen after a bet with Sam Curran, who apparently has to have his hair dyed in the colour of the head coach’s choice.

“I actually feel for Sam, I think he’s been shafted there because the deal, in my eyes, was only to shave Motty’s hair,” Buttler added. “But he’s now come out with Sam having to dye his.

“But it gave everyone a lot of energy when he came into the room and I think Mo had shaved his head. Fair play to him for sticking to his word, I’m not sure it’s going to grow back for him, to be honest!

“We’ve certainly celebrated and enjoyed it. Over the last few days, it’s really started to sink in what we achieved. It’s been fantastic to have a bit of time to think about that.

“We’re a long way away but I’m so proud of everyone out here and we enjoyed it, it’s been great.”