Jos Buttler will leave it to others to define the legacy of this England white-ball generation as they gear up for what could be one final ODI hurrah.
Buttler, plus Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, were integral in turning England from also-rans to the first men’s side to hold both limited-overs World Cups simultaneously.
Eight members from the class of 2019 are in England’s 15-strong squad for the defence of their 50-over crown in India, which starts this week, in what could be an ODI swansong for several in the set-up.
Retaining their crown would put this England side on a pedestal as one of the greatest limited-overs sides ever, but Buttler insisted leaving a long-lasting footprint is not uppermost in their minds.
“I feel like legacy is defined by others,” England’s white-ball captain told the PA news agency. “The guys in the team are all excited just about this World Cup.
“A lot of us have played a lot of cricket together for a long period of time, being part of a really successful side for a long time and we’ve had some really good memories along the way already.
“Now it’s something new in my eyes, it’s a new World Cup, a chance to try and do something else and win a tournament and have a great time doing it.
“I don’t feel like we go out there with any added pressure of trying to cement a legacy, we’re just looking forward to the tournament and what will come of that.”
England played 88 ODIs between the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, revolutionising their approach as the format took centre stage on their priority list and culminated in their unforgettable Lord’s triumph.
Since that heady July day four years ago, England have had just 43 ODIs and frequently been without their best players as the Test and T20 teams took precedence.
Joe Root – England’s rock at number three – and Stokes, who has reversed his ODI retirement and will be used as a specialist middle-order batter due to longstanding left knee issues restricting his bowling, have taken part in just 19 and 13 50-over matches respectively since the 2019 World Cup final.
“Four years ago felt very different,” Buttler said. “We’d obviously had a big change of style of play and personnel in the team – all building towards that World Cup for four years.
“There was nothing in the way of that and being a home World Cup, I think there were different pressures of being the favourites which we embraced.
“Whereas going into this World Cup, it’s been a bit different, I think it’s probably fair to say we’re probably not favourites going into this one.”
Buttler, who succeeded Eoin Morgan as England’s limited-overs captain last year, doubts England’s status as holders of both white-ball World Cups puts a target on their backs.
“We’ve been a really good white-ball team for a long time now – teams want to beat you, we want to beat other teams as well,” he said.
“Whether that adds any extra difference to the results, I don’t believe so because we’re just as determined to try and win games of cricket as teams that are trying to beat us.”
England start their campaign against New Zealand at Ahmedabad on Thursday, the first of nine group-stage fixtures in eight cities that will stretch them physically and mentally.
Their decision to swap out Jason Roy, so crucial to their 2019 success, and plump for Harry Brook garnered scrutiny, but was based on the Yorkshireman’s flexibility to bat anywhere in the top six.
Having broken into and established himself in the Test and T20 sides, Brook has been backed by Buttler to make a splash in the ODI team if selected.
“Harry’s ceiling is so high,” Buttler added. “I think we’ve seen it in international cricket in the way he’s taken to Test cricket, especially. We all know the trajectory his career is on.
“He was obviously fantastic in the T20s in Pakistan last year ahead of the T20 World Cup and forced his way into that team and he’s one of the bright young stars of world cricket.”
:: Jos Buttler was speaking to promote Castore, the official kit suppliers of the England cricket team, investing in an extension to its national brand marketing campaign. For more information, visit https://castore.com