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Jos Buttler would relish another opportunity to lead England

Buttler is yet to discover whether he will be leading his country again.

Jos Buttler will relish the challenge if he is asked to lead England again as they bid for a series-clinching victory over Australia at Trent Bridge.

Buttler stepped in successfully at the last minute to deputise for Eoin Morgan after a back spasm ruled England’s white-ball captain out of the second one-day international in Cardiff on Saturday.

An update on Morgan’s fitness, along with that of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, is expected on Monday.

The two key all-rounders were ruled out of the first part of the ongoing five-match series with leg injuries, and the indications so far are that Woakes’ thigh problem is likely to keep him out for significantly longer than Stokes’ torn hamstring.

Without all three players, however, England proved good enough under Buttler’s captaincy to take a 2-0 lead with a 38-run victory in the weekend run-fest at Sophia Gardens.

If it falls to the wicketkeeper-batsman to take the reins again, he will be ready as England target an unassailable 3-0 advantage in Tuesday’s day-night match in Nottingham.

After he had hit an unbeaten 91 in a total of 342 for eight which also featured a century from opener Jason Roy, Buttler had two more critical roles to play as he directed England in the field from behind the stumps.

“I enjoyed it,” he said.

“It’s a bit more stressful going through lots of decisions, (and) the buck stops with you.

“As vice-captain you can suggest a few (ideas), and hide behind that.”

Buttler’s previous experience of leading England came in a hard-fought series victory in Bangladesh in October 2016 – Morgan was absent because of his security concerns over that tour.

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England’s Adil Rashid celebrates with Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Jason Roy (Nigel French/PA)

There is no shortage of ODI experience in the ranks of the world number one team, and Buttler added: “The guys know what they’re doing.

“It’s a very good side to captain.

“At times it captains itself, with defined roles for the players and a lot of experience in the group.”

As in Bangladesh, Buttler was happy to keep the gloves, despite his extra responsibilities and even though England had two other wicketkeeping options.

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“I don’t think it’s impossible to do so,” said the 27-year-old.

“Lots of captains have been wicketkeepers as well.

“You’ve got a pretty good position to see what’s happening and what’s going on, so I don’t think it’s a problem.”

England’s mettle was tested as an inspired Shaun Marsh kept Australia just about in the contest in Cardiff, until Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett took the crucial wickets to close out the match.

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England’s Jason Roy shares a joke with Liam Plunkett (Nigel French/PA)

It all left Buttler acknowledging the “potential” of pulling off a 5-0 whitewash, but warning England still have plenty of work to do in both the immediate and longer term.

“There’s a World Cup round the corner, so we need to keep polishing up in those areas we can improve,” he said.

“It’s very important for us to continue to show why we got ourselves to number one in the world.

“We have to keep improving, keep working very hard.

“A by-product of that is winning the series in comprehensive fashion.

“But we’ve got to keep going game by game, and not get ahead of ourselves or complacent.”

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