Jos Buttler reveals he was ‘flustered’ before firing England to historic series win
Buttler clinched England’s 5-0 whitewash of Australia.
Jos Buttler admitted to feeling a little nervy before he administered the final blow to complete England’s improbable one-wicket win and historic 5-0 whitewash of Australia.
Without Buttler, on his captain Eoin Morgan’s acknowledgement, England would have had no chance at 114 for eight in pursuit of Australia’s under-par 205 all out in the one-day international series finale at Old Trafford.
But the wicketkeeper-batsman simply would not be denied as first he and Adil Rashid got England within range in a ninth-wicket stand of 81 – and then he struck a straight six off Marcus Stoinis and the cover-driven four which clinched the deal off the same bowler.
There were some stressful moments, of course, as Buttler (110no) and number 11 Jake Ball took one unexpected single and declined others.
Buttler got it unquestionably right when it mattered most, though, to edge a thrilling contest.
“It’s obviously a great feeling, hitting the winning runs… it’s pure elation, isn’t it?” he said.
“You know it’s one shot, but that’s probably when you become most flustered, when it’s in touching distance.
“You’ll probably never match that… one (wicket left) and plucking it from nowhere when we didn’t really have the right to win the game.
“Winning games when you didn’t deserve to, they’re almost the more enjoyable ones.”
England put themselves on course for this first whitewash over Australia in any format, dating back through almost 140 years of Ashes rivalry, when Moeen Ali’s career-best four for 46 helped to bowl the tourists out in just 34.4 overs.
But by the time they lurched to 50 for five in response, it looked a long shot.
Buttler was full of praise for Rashid, and Ball.
“Great credit to him to come out and face the balls,” he said of the latter.
“He did it beautifully (against Ashton Agar), fighting a few instincts, I think – he wanted to run down and try and smack it.
“But it’s a tough thing to do, soak up that pressure and deal with that – and a huge feather in his cap to know he’s come through.”
This is exactly why England are the best ODI side in the world at the minute! A side full of match winners, character and determination! +Buttler is on a different level at the minute 🙌👌#ENGvAUS #Buttler— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) June 24, 2018
Asked if anyone else in the team could have won the match as Buttler did, Morgan said: “Probably not.
“To produce an innings like he did… he managed to get us over the line somehow, and when he plays like that he creates a lot of belief in the changing room that rubs off.
Morgan’s opposite number Tim Paine must suffer the consequences of losing 5-0.
He said: “It stings. It does sting a lot.
“We were in a great position to win the game – and as well as Jos played, we just didn’t put them under enough pressure.
“It’s shown throughout the series – every time their good players have put us under pressure, with the bat or ball, we’ve stumbled a little bit.”