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Jos Buttler motivated by poor World Cup to drive England forward

Jos Buttler is as committed as ever to leading England’s white-ball teams (PA)
Jos Buttler is as committed as ever to leading England’s white-ball teams (PA)

Jos Buttler intends to use England’s World Cup misery to fuel him for the rest of his career but he insisted the humbling campaign “doesn’t define me as a person or my whole career”.

England’s defence of the title they won to much acclaim in 2019 was a debacle, with Buttler not making a single fifty and averaging 15.33 in nine group-stage matches as his form completely deserted him.

Three weeks on from their final game of a grizzly trip to India, Buttler is on the road again and looking to wipe the slate clean as he leads a new-look England side on a white-ball tour of the West Indies, starting with the first of three ODIs on Sunday in Antigua.

Having taken a few painful lessons from the past few weeks, Buttler is adamant he is as committed as ever to get England back to being the standard-bearers in the limited-overs formats going forwards.

“I’ve got to use it as motivation and hunger to push myself and the team forward,” the England white-ball captain said. “Use it as a positive experience to go into the rest of my career.

“I still feel incredibly motivated and excited and it’s nice to be around some of the younger guys who are desperate to do well and, as a more senior player, it gives you a lot of energy.

“We have had one bad tournament. We have been in a great place for a long time and you see the depth of talent of guys coming through and you want to help shape that period of white-ball cricket.

“Any time that you get challenged and get pushed back, it certainly lights a few fires and motivates you. I should be in an even better place moving forward than I have been.”

Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott inevitably drew plenty of criticism for finishing seventh out of 10 teams in the subcontinent but the pair have been backed fully by director of men’s cricket Rob Key.

Having had time to digest what happened, Buttler retains a pragmatic outlook and reminds himself of team-mate Ben Stokes’ now memorable line to Jofra Archer before the pivotal super over in the 2019 World Cup final.

“Having good people around you, people who are close to you, that keeps some perspective on life and on cricket,” the double World Cup winner said. “It’s meant to be hard at times, right?

“We’re playing international cricket events against the best players in the world and they’ve all got the same ambitions as we have so there’s going to be times when it’s not easy.

Jos Buttler is determined to learn the lessons from the World Cup
Jos Buttler is determined to learn the lessons from the World Cup (John Walton/PA)

“It’s this easy to be captain hindsight. Say you got XYZ wrong, when if you don’t play well enough to try and implement your plan, the decisions can maybe become a little bit irrelevant.

“I always think of Ben Stokes’ words to Jofra about the super over: whatever happens here doesn’t define you and I certainly don’t feel like that World Cup is the defining moment for me.

“It’s a huge disappointment but it doesn’t define me as a person or my whole career. So, just use it as something to make sure I look forward now and enjoy the challenges ahead.

“Life moves on, the world moves on pretty fast. There’s always something to look forward to. It’s never as bad as you think it is and it’s never as good as you think it is.”

Harry Brook remains in the squad following the World Cup
Harry Brook remains in the squad following the World Cup (Joe Giddens/PA)

Buttler did not reveal his XI for what is being dubbed by some as a reset as they build towards the 2025 Champions Trophy and 2027 World Cup but Will Jacks and Phil Salt are set to open the batting.

Neither player received a central contract a few weeks ago but they have an opportunity to push their case for more regular involvement alongside the likes of Rehan Ahmed, John Turner and Matthew Potts.

Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Gus Atkinson and Brydon Carse have followed Buttler to the Caribbean from the World Cup, while a 15-strong squad is bolstered by Test regulars Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope.

“It’s certainly a bit of a new beginning,” Buttler added. “There’s some really exciting talent in this team. There’s a nice blend, I think.”

“There’s some great energy around the guys and the Caribbean is a nice place to start this journey.”