Pune, Nov 9: Former captain Nasser Hussain believes skipper Jos Buttler is just horribly out of touch with the bat in the ongoing 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup and that he had never seen the wicketkeeper-batter in this kind of form ever.
Buttler has been unable to set the tournament on fire, managing to amass 111 runs at an average of just 13.87 in eight innings. After being dismissed for a single-digit score yet again in England’s 160-run win over the Netherlands in Pune, Buttler admitted to being frustrated with his batting performances.
"Buttler is just horribly out of nick. I don't think I've ever seen him in this kind of form - either in a Lancashire shirt, a Somerset shirt, or an England shirt. He is England's best white-ball player. So if you're asking me what is one of the major reasons why the team haven't done well, it's because he's had a drop of form like we've never seen before."
"When you're going to a player, like today with Liam Livingstone, and saying 'we're leaving you out mate', you'd want to be getting runs yourself when making those decisions. He's batting hard, working hard, and his body language is pretty good around the team but he just can't buy a run at the moment."
"We all forget what it's like being out of nick. Your brain is completely scrambled. Form is an incredibly difficult thing to sustain and maintain. Once you've got it, never let it go because it's fickle," said Hussain to Sky Sports.
Though Ben Stokes led England to victory with 108 off 84 balls, his first ODI World Cup century and the bowlers teamed up to bowl out the Netherlands for 179 in 37.2 overs, there were some dropped catches in the middle overs, which caught Hussain’s attention.
"They (England) were good. But there was some sloppiness in the field. You need to be at 100 per cent if you're going to beat some of the top nations on a consistent basis. And that collapse again. Other sides, better sides than the Netherlands, will make you pay for that. They can't seem to stop the collapse while it's happening, and it took that last-chance-saloon partnership of Stokes and Woakes to save them."
Talking of Stokes’ century, Hussain was lavish in praise for his knock. "He's an incredible cricketer. He has that switch of tempo; we've seen it in Test cricket, in 50-over cricket, we've seen it in world finals. He was going along at a normal, human pace but then he flicks that switch and goes into hitting mode. And once he does, there's not much better, especially when hitting over the legside."
"He may have got things slightly wrong against India, with Mohammed Shami bowling that 10-ball spell at him where he couldn't get him away and then was bowled having a bit of a hack. Invariably he gets it right and, today, he got it absolutely spot on. Obviously England are already knocked out of the World Cup, but here is a man who, every time he plays, will still give it absolutely everything," he concluded. (IANS)