England cricket: Jos Buttler plans to be his own man as white-ball captain

Jos Buttler wants to be his own man as England white-ball captain but reasoned he would be “naive” if he did not occasionally call upon the wisdom of predecessor Eoin Morgan.

England begin the post-Morgan era on Thursday with the first of three Twenty20s in the space of four days against India at the Ageas Bowl, where Buttler will make his debut as a full-time limited-overs skipper.

As understudy to Morgan, and one of his most loyal disciples in England’s white-ball renaissance after the 2015 World Cup, Buttler is unlikely to diverge from the blueprint that has brought so much success.

Buttler admitted there may be instances when he needs the counsel of his friend but, having taken charge of England on 14 occasions in the past, he believes he is ready to stand on his own two feet.

“He is one of my closest mates,” Buttler said. “So I know any time that I need, I can lean on him to ask a few questions and it’s clear the way everyone speaks about him what a great captain he is.

“It would be naive of me to not try and lean on him at certain times. At the same time, I can’t be him. I’ve got to be myself and try and do the job how I do it.

“But I certainly don’t have an ego where I wouldn’t want to try and learn from him.

“In terms of a place to take over from, if I’m not ready to take over now then I’d never be. I think I’m in the best place I’d ever be to become the captain of the team at this moment.”

While it has already been confirmed Morgan will be in the Sky commentary box for the rest of England’s white-ball programme, Buttler and coach Matthew Mott will attempt to plot a path towards the T20 World Cup.

With a little over three months to go until they attempt to unify the two short format World Cups, this series against India and another against South Africa later this month act as crucial preparation.

“It’s not way off,” Buttler said. “I think you have an idea, but of course things can change and things can change quickly.

“Looking ahead to that World Cup, we know where we need to get to and there’s lots of exciting cricket before that where guys will have opportunities to really stake a claim to be in that squad.

“I’ll always want us to take that positive and aggressive option when we can. I don’t want us to fear losing, and I think that’s been something that has been set in stone for a number of years.”

Tymal Mills is set to be available for England despite having stitches in his right toe on Wednesday (Mike Egerton/PA)

(PA Archive)

Buttler is set to rekindle his opening partnership with Jason Roy, Phil Salt and Harry Brook are jostling for a middle order spot while Tymal Mills had stitches in his right toe on Wednesday.

The left-arm quick is expected to be available and, while he usually operates at the end of an innings, Mills could be part of a line-up that has been tasked with making early inroads into India’s batting.

“We’ll have to find ways of taking wickets because if you can’t take wickets then there’s so many guys who can take the game away from you,” Buttler added ahead of his first T20 since England’s World Cup semi-final defeat against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last November.

“It’s not simple in white-ball cricket because you don’t always get much assistance from the pitch or through the air with the ball.

“I think as much as you can: try and be as aggressive as you can with the new ball, because if you can set a team back at the start, that will really help.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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