Jos Buttler eyes revenge over Australia but admits England must improve
Australia overhauled England’s paltry 137 for seven with seven wickets and 33 balls to spare at the MCG.
Jos Buttler is hoping for one more crack at toppling Australia’s Twenty20 specialists but knows England will have to improve considerably to reach the final of the Trans-Tasman tri-series.
An Australian side filled with fresh faces from the Big Bash booked their spot in the Auckland showpiece with a dominant seven-wicket win in Melbourne, having already coasted past England in their first match and blown away co-hosts New Zealand in the curtain-raiser.
England now need to back-to-back victories over the Black Caps in Wellington and Hamilton to stand any chance of heading home with the silverware but Buttler believes a desire to right some wrongs will go a long way.
“It was a disappointing day, especially after a poor performance in Hobart. We were determined to show what we are capable of and we didn’t do that,” said Buttler, deputising as captain for the injured Eoin Morgan.
“But that’s the beauty of a tri-series, we still have a chance to make the final. Hopefully we can meet Australia and put on a better show.
“We haven’t showcased our ability as we know we can yet and there are guys in that dressing room who will be determined to come back strong.”
In truth, England’s performance represented a significant downturn on their previous losing effort.
😭 0-4 in the Ashes— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) February 10, 2018
😄 4-1 in the ODIs
😒 0-2 in the T20s
Sum up England's winter in Australia with one word… pic.twitter.com/nTvgvIFGPJ
Last time out they started brightly with the bat and conjured some late drama with a spirited display in the field. In front of 42,000 at the MCG they were muted from the off and set a slender target of 138 which never
looked like containing Australia’s batting line-up.
Buttler produced the top-score of the match but laboured for his 46, while the likes of D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell all batted with unfettered freedom in a speedy chase.
Aaron Finch faced only five balls at the end of the match, firing the last two into the stands to seal victory with 33 deliveries spare.
That was the final act of England’s long tour of Australia, comprising a 4-0 Ashes defeat and a 4-1 one-day success to go with the last two T20s.
“We go to New Zealand now, a nice change of scene,” noted Buttler.
Whether Morgan will be back to lead a push for the final remains to be seen, with doctors yet to establish the severity of his groin complaint.
“Eoin got a little niggle in training, I don’t think we quite know the extent of it so we’ll wait and find out,” added the stand-in skipper.
Man-of-the-match Kane Richardson, who claimed three for 33 to top and tail the tourists’ innings, opted for a respectful tone at odds with the crushing nature of the result.
“It’s a good feeling to win but in T20 cricket when you get a roll on, teams can be hard to stop,” he said.
“If England can play well next game all of a sudden they’re a different team
“It’s always nice to win but I wouldn’t read too much into us having the wood over them. It’s a pretty similar England team to the ODIs and they smashed us pretty well in that series. I’d expect them to bounce back.”