A blistering 125 not out off 113 balls by Pant, followed by Hardik Pandya‘s 55-ball 71 while chasing 260 to win guided the visitors to a five-wicket victory in the series-deciding third ODI in Manchester on Sunday.
“Rishabh is a fantastic player. What sets him apart from other players, I think, is his mentality. Rishabh is a fearless cricketer and a fantastic talent,” said Buttler in the post-match press conference.
“He’s brilliant across all formats and great to watch. I think he gets great backing to play howsoever he wants to play from his team,” the England white-ball captain added.
Buttler started his full-time captaincy stint on the worst note, losing both the T20I and ODI series by a 1-2 margin to Rohit Sharma-led India.
Talking about that, Buttler said, “I am learning a lot about it (captaincy). I found the first week of captaincy very busy. But I’m a lot more comfortable now. Playing lots of games in a short time was a challenge.
“I feel like a really experienced cricketer. In terms of a new captain and learning about the role, I think it will take a bit of time. There are experienced guys in the dressing room and the support staff has also helped me.
“Learning the art of captaincy is going to develop over time with experience. Just being myself is going to be my style. It is about finding that rhythm,” he added.
Buttler top-scored with 60 off 80 deliveries in England’s 259 all out in 45.5 overs on Sunday, but that was put in the shadow by Hardik’s 71 off 55 balls in a strong 133-run stand for the fifth wicket with centurion Pant at Old Trafford.
Buttler pointed at the takeaways for his team from the three-match series.
“I think we need to do better. We have not played much ODI cricket in the recent past and I think we will look at the rhythm of the game again. I think there was certainly more swing in the game. We didn’t really get in and have a great partnership. We have played in different conditions in all parts of the world. We just have to play better. We believe in playing positive cricket,” said England captain.
Buttler rued the gap between matches against India was really short as it was tough for the team, especially bowlers, to perform well.
“I think we have to look out for our players as it was incredibly tough. The schedule is incredibly tough. Three and a half hours of journey and then play another match on Tuesday. It is probably tough for the bowlers. So we have to look after the players and maybe rest them (in between), this will create opportunities for others as well,” he added.