Jos Buttler’s verdict on England: Dangerous but not favourites

Ahead of the first T20 game against Australia in Perth on Sunday, England captain Jos Buttler admitted that his team is dangerous but among the favourites. “I certainly don’t see us as favourites,” he told BBC Test Match Special“I see us as a very dangerous side that the opposition will be wary of playing against. If you look at our line-up, we got some talent and proper match-winners. We just want to go out there to enjoy and express our talent,” he said.

England are coming fresh from beating Pakistan at home 4-3 and are bolstered by the return of Buttler himself, who has been nursing an injury.

England Cricket team England’s players pose for photograph with the trophy of twenty20 series, on the end of the seventh twenty20 cricket match between Pakistan and England, in Lahore. (AP)

“I’m back to 100%,” Buttler said. “I had a good time in Pakistan rehabbing and getting back to where I need to be. I’ve been taking it slow and cautiously – I probably could have played earlier but it just felt like with the World Cup around the corner it was the right thing to do,” he added.

For Buttler, who became the white-ball captain just four months ago, the World Cup would be his first big test.But he says he is not overburdened. “The 2019 World Cup, and the journey everyone went on to get there, that felt like a huge moment but this is different,” he said. “To be a captain in a World Cup is a very proud moment. Above all else I want to really enjoy it, I want to not try and put too much pressure on myself or the team and just encourage everyone to enjoy the opportunity. Australia is a fantastic place to tour, it’s going to be a great tournament, and I just want everyone to play good cricket and really enjoy it,” he added.

He counted Australia, the defending world champions as one of the world champions, even though against England, they are resting some of the regulars “Australia are one of the favourites for the tournament so it’s a great challenge for us to go up against them and get really battle-hardened in Australian conditions, against the team that knows those conditions best, and that will stand us in good stead for the tournament.”

The series could decide who would open with Buttler. The experienced Alex Hales and the impressive newbie Phil Salt are both in contention. “I probably do [know who it will be], but it can change, can’t it?” he said. “They’re both fantastic options, two guys with different styles and I like that, guys sticking to the way they play. We have an idea of what we think is our strongest XI but the game can be unpredictable and maybe someone plays fantastically well and forces their way in. Fingers crossed we don’t want any injuries, but you’ve also got to plan for those things.”

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