Jos Buttler warns Pakistan over ‘dangerous’ England ahead of T20 World Cup final showdown

Jos Buttler warns Pakistan over ‘dangerous’ England ahead of T20 World Cup final showdown

Jos Buttler hinted that the best is yet to come from his England side as they go into this weekend’s T20 World Cup final in Melbourne.

Buttler and Alex Hales bludgeoned their way into the showpiece with a comfortable 10-wicket victory over India in Adelaide yesterday.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s final, England’s captain said: “We haven’t at points played as well as we could have done in the tournament yet still find ourselves in the final of a World Cup.”

England produced comfortably their best performance of the tournament to date in their last-four encounter, restricting India to 168 before the batting fireworks from Buttler and Hales at the top of the order.

Ahead of taking on Pakistan in a bid to add a T20 World Cup title to the 50-over version, Buttler said: “We’ve got some brilliant players in our team and, when they play their best, they’re a tough team to beat. We’re an incredibly dangerous side and there’s huge confidence in the group.

Jos Buttler and Alex Hales delivered England a dominant semi-final victory over India (PA)
Jos Buttler and Alex Hales delivered England a dominant semi-final victory over India (PA)

“To play like we did in such a high-pressure game is immensely satisfying. I’m immensely proud of the guys, that was a brilliant performance, by far our best performance of the tournament.

“It’s important we enjoy that performance but don’t get too far ahead of ourselves. The biggest game of this tournament is still to come.”

The forecast for Sunday in Melbourne is for rain and potentially severe thunderstorms. A reserve day is in place on Monday with the playing window extended by two hours amid concerns over the weather.

The final needs 10 overs a side to be played for it to constitute a match – in contrast to just five overs in the group stages. If that doesn’t happen before the close of play on Monday, England and Pakistan will be declared joint-winners.

Pakistan mentor Matthew Hayden said his side had “all the bases covered” in terms of their 11-man lineup for the weekend. And he said the match would come down to the smallest of margins.

“It’s on the day who handles the pressure,” he said. “It’s on the day who’s got their game preparation spot on. It’s on the day who can handle their emotions, and how their own individual games set up the play.

“We’ve got four quicks who can really make an impact and create sustainable damage inside 20 overs. Quality fast bowling against quality batting, it’s why you watch the game.”