England skipper Jos Buttler conceded that England have received “a reality check” and didn’t play their “best cricket by a long stretch” after being unable to win a white-ball series in their ongoing home summer.
Buttler’s comments come after England were bowled out for 101 in Sunday’s T20I series decider against South Africa at the Ageas Bowl and lost the series 2-1. Before this, England has lost the T20I and ODI series to India by identical margin of 2-1 and had drawn the ODI series against South Africa 1-1.
“I think it is a reality check. We haven’t played our best cricket by a long stretch and I don’t think we have been able to impose ourselves. We can’t live in the past and pat ourselves on the backs for the changes that have been made in English cricket and the successes we have had. It’s about looking forward, trying to chase the best teams in the world and being at the forefront of that,” said Buttler after the match.
For the first time since 2013, England have gone through a home summer without winning a single white-ball series. Buttler, who took over as the white-ball captain after the retirement of Eoin Morgan, admitted that the hosts fell short with the way they played, especially with the chants from the crowd increasing their anger.
“We do need an honest chat. You don’t want to overreact to situations but you could sense the frustration around the ground with the ‘get on with it, England’ chants. You don’t want to be associated with that.
“It is the first time I have heard that for a very long time, so that frustration around the group shows we weren’t managing to put on the show we want to put on. You can cope with losing but you want to make sure you stay true to what you believe in and I think we fell well short with the way we played.”
Buttler was also disappointed with the lack of fight, risks and gumption from England and expressed displeasure over lack of runs from his bat. “The disappointing thing was the way we went down. We lacked intent and confidence and didn’t put the opposition under pressure. We never managed to fire shots and wrestle the initiative. I think that bit of timidness is probably the thing we are frustrated with most.
“We want to be a team that wants to be brave and take risks. We have to work out where that lack of consistency comes from. Whether it’s over-confidence or lack of confidence, we have not been able to back up performances. As individuals and as a team we have not played our best. The first place I would look is myself. I want to lead from the front as captain and I know I haven’t performed at the level I would like to.”
England have 10 T20Is to play and finalise their combination for the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November. A seven-match series in Pakistan from mid-September will be followed by flying to Australia for a three-match series against the current T20 World Cup winner before starting their campaign in the tournament against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22.