A defiant Jos Buttler insists he is still the man to captain England despite presiding over a doomed World Cup campaign. England suffered an eight-wicket trouncing on Thursday at the hands of Sri Lanka, who chased down a paltry 157-run target with almost 25 overs to spare. It was a fourth defeat in five games for England, who dropped to ninth in the 10-team table and must win their four remaining matches to have any hope of even making the semi-finals. Three of those matches are against unbeaten two-time champions India, five-time winners Australia and 1992 champions Pakistan. When asked if he is still the man to lead his country, the 33-year-old simply replied: “Yes”.
“I think you always question as a manager how you can get the best out of players, how you can get the team moving in the right direction.
“I’ve certainly got a lot of confidence and belief in myself as a manager and a captain and most of all as a player, but if you ask if I’m still going to captain the team, that’s a question for the guys above me.”
Asked if England’s World Cup is over, Buttler admitted: “It certainly looks that way.”
Buttler has been in charge since June last year, when he succeeded Eoin Morgan who led England to victory at the World Cup in 2019.
Buttler has been successful, leading the team to the World Twenty20 title in Australia last year.
In India, however, England have looked predictable and tired – on Thursday all their starting eleven were over 30.
In five matches at the World Cup, England have lost to Afghanistan and suffered a 229-run collapse by a ferocious South Africa.
“It’s incredibly tough, an incredibly disappointing tournament. As a captain you feel it a lot,” Buttler added.
“We’ve been short of our best for a long time. I’m disappointed in myself and the lads that we didn’t do ourselves any credit.
“There is no clear answer. If there was a nugget that we don’t do, then we would pick it up.”
Buttler’s own form at the World Cup has reflected England’s misery.
He made 43 in the opening loss to New Zealand and managed just 52 runs in the four subsequent matches.
“I can’t fault the guys’ effort, we’re just a long way from our best,” he added.
“As a captain you want to lead from the front and play well. I have been far from my best and that has filtered through to the rest of the team.”
England coach Matthew Mott admitted the team will face serious criticism for their lackluster performance.
Their only win has come against Bangladesh, while a stunning defeat to Afghanistan also dented their hopes.
“We’ve got some serious soul-searching to do. We’ve got to do it, we know that, and rightly so. We didn’t perform anywhere near our level,” Mott told the BBC.
“I still think we have a team good enough to win this tournament, but we obviously haven’t put it together when it matters. Unfortunately, we are out of shape at a very bad time for us.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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