Just three weeks after the end of a miserable World Cup season, Jos Buttler is back on tour and preparing for another one-day international series. He promises to “use it as a positive experience” as work begins on refreshing and rejuvenating the England ODI squad.
Buttler averaged just 15.33 with the bat as England lost six of their nine games in India, but insists that after some time reflecting on this season he has not lost his confidence as either a player or captain.
“I have to use it as motivation and hunger to push myself and the team forward,” he said. “I have to structure the rest of my career to use this as a positive experience. It’s a big disappointment, but it doesn’t define me as a person or my entire career. I’m just going to use it to make sure I look forward now and enjoy the challenges that lie ahead.”
Buttler gave no thought to giving up his position in the middle order – “It was my super strength in this format and I want to build on that even more” – or questioned his judgment, despite making several decisions in this throw that ultimately resulted in defeats contributed.
“In hindsight, being captain is easy, isn’t it? If you end up not playing well enough to execute your plan, the decisions can become a bit irrelevant,” he said. “I’m certainly not going to be someone who says at the end of the game, ‘I should have done something different.’ You have to trust yourself.”
Although there was little time to relax between returning from the World Cup and heading to Antigua, where a three-match series against the West Indies begins on Sunday, Buttler quickly shook off his World Cup hangover.
“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I have good prospects,” he said. “I come home and have two kids who don’t care about the World Cup. I am a very proud person and I experience disappointments, but life goes on, the world moves pretty quickly. There is always something to look forward to. It’s never as bad as you think, and it’s never as good as you think.”
Only six of the 16 players involved in the World Cup will feature in this series, although another, Reece Topley, is already in the squad and is preparing for the following Twenty20s. Phil Salt and Will Jacks will lead a batting line-up that is otherwise strong in terms of Test experience: of the other specialist batsmen, Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope have all played more Tests than ODIs and Harry Brook has appeared in 12 Tests each.
“It’s certainly a bit of a new beginning,” Buttler said. “There is some really exciting talent in this team, young guys who are eager to take their chances and perform. There are some people who haven’t had much exposure to ODI cricket but have a lot of experience in Test cricket.
“I think there is a nice mix, a real hunger, but also some quality players who have done some great things in international cricket. There is a great energy and the Caribbean is a beautiful place to start this journey.”