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T20 World Cup 2024: Buttler eager for T20 world champions England to learn India lessons

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England captain Jos Buttler believes his squad will be better equipped to retain their T20 World Cup title after a miserable defence of their 50-over crown in India last year.

England will be one of the favourites for the 2024 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States after beating Pakistan in the final in Australia two years ago.

But it was a similar story when many of the same players, Buttler included, travelled to India for the 50-over World Cup only for England to lose six of its first seven matches.

Those reverses included a nine-wicket defeat by New Zealand in its tournament opener, a historic maiden loss to Afghanistan and a record 229-run thrashing by South Africa.

Buttler, one of the outstanding white-ball batsmen of his generation, managed just 138 runs at 15.33 in nine tournament innings, with some questioning whether the 33-year-old was taking on too much in his triple role of captain and wicketkeeper-batsman.

Matthew Mott, the Australian coach of England’s white-ball teams, also came under fire following a series of selection switches, but Buttler said there was a simple explanation for the side’s struggles in India.

“We just didn’t play well enough”, he told Sky Sports. “The big learning for me is to try not to confuse freedom with maybe a lack of clarity.

ALSO READ: India remains No. 1 in ICC rankings before T20 World Cup 2024

“Sometimes you’re trying to let players play with freedom and you don’t want to step in too much. But you have to make sure you don’t miss things.

“Even if there was a lack of clarity, or whatever you want to call it, I’d still expect us to perform better than we did.”

He added: “I don’t think it’s about trying to reinvent the wheel or trying to give people messages that they’ve never heard before.

“There might be (T20) games where you need to score in excess of 200, there might be games where you need to scrap and try and defend 140, on a wicket that’s holding up and it’s tough for batting.”

Archer a ‘massive asset’

England has added former West Indies captain Kieron Pollard to its backroom staff in a bid to utilise his local knowledge, with a trio of rising stars in opener Phil Salt, top-order batsman Harry Brook and hard-hitting all-rounder Will Jacks all looking to make their mark.

Yet Jofra Archer is arguably the most exciting inclusion in England’s squad.

Jofra Archer of England bowls during the 2nd Vitality IT20 match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston.

Jofra Archer of England bowls during the 2nd Vitality IT20 match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston.
| Photo Credit:
Getty Images

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Jofra Archer of England bowls during the 2nd Vitality IT20 match between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston.
| Photo Credit:
Getty Images

The Barbados-born fast bowler has been beset by elbow injuries since his starring role in England’s 2019 50-over World Cup triumph.

But Archer, in his first international appearance for 14 months, took 2-28 as England beat Pakistan by 23 runs at Edgbaston on Saturday — one of the highlights of a rain-marred T20 series where two of the four games have been washed out completely ahead of Thursday’s finale at The Oval.

Buttler, named the player of-the-match after he smashed 84 off 51 balls in Birmingham, said: “I thought Jofra Archer was brilliant.

“You could see his emotion taking wickets for England again but we need to temper those expectations because he’s not going to be the same straight away.”

Whether the 29-year-old quick can stand up to the strain of tournament cricket, even when restricted to a T20 maximum of four overs per match, remains to be seen.

Jacks, however, underlined Archer’s worth to England by saying: “He’s been bowling good speed in the nets, good speed in the middle, good yorkers at the death — he’s a massive asset for us and we love to have in him our team.”

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