New Delhi, Oct 16: England captain Buttler admitted that the pitch at the Arun Jaitley Stadium didn’t play as per the thoughts of his team after being outclassed by Afghanistan by 69 runs to shake up the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup.
In the match on Sunday, Buttler opted to chase and retained his playing eleven from the victory over Bangladesh, days after India beat Afghanistan at the same venue, thanks to a four-fer from Jasprit Bumrah and a scintillating century from captain Rohit Sharma.
After bowling out Afghanistan for 284, England were never in the hunt to chase the total, being bowled out for 215 as Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman took three wickets each. Afghanistan’s upset win meant England crashed to their second defeat in three matches of the ongoing competition, leaving their title defence in a tricky situation.
“Having watched the first couple of games here obviously India went with the extra seamer as well in their lineup we thought the wicket would play similarly and maybe the dew would come in in the second half. But no, I think whichever line-up we had, we just weren't good enough and we didn't play well enough and full credit to Afghanistan, they deserve to win.”
“Look, we always want to play positive and be aggressive and some days you don't play as well as you want to. Though Afghanistan built good pressure on us, maybe the wicket didn't play exactly how we thought it would play and maybe the dew didn't come in as much as we thought as well.”
“Obviously, our spinners bowled really well there and Afghanistan have some brilliant spinners so that was always going to be tough but we just didn't manage to get the partnerships going that we wanted,” said a grim Buttler in the post-match press conference.
He went on to term the loss to Afghanistan as a big setback and called for his team to not lose their self-belief, with England now needing at least five wins from their six remaining league-stage matches to get an opportunity to reach the semifinals.