It was more of the same bitter medicine for England’s cricketers in Ahmedabad, with a 33-run defeat by Australia – and more of the same from Jos Buttler in the aftermath of a sixth loss at this 50-over World Cup as England’s captain again appeared baffled by his ageing team’s chronic under-performance.
“I feel like we are having the same chat after every game at the minute,” Buttler said afterwards, a process of rationalising defeat that isn’t becoming any easier with practice. “There were improvements again today. We got back to more like how we can play but still [fell] short of it to lose by 30-odd.
Australia see off England to knock holders out of Cricket World CupRead more
“It certainly feels like a low point. I’ve had a few but definitely as a captain. To be stood in this position having arrived in India with high hopes is incredibly tough and disappointing. It hurts a lot.”
Defeat at the Narendra Modi Stadium has finally crushed any remaining mathematical chance England harboured of progressing in the tournament, and Buttler spoke of a genuine sense of deflation.
“Coming into the tournament we fancied ourselves to have a real go and push whoever it was going to be all the way. It’s incredibly tough to reach those highs, absolutely. Everyone knows how much hard work goes into that, and even when you come up short.
“We’ve let ourselves down. We’ve let down people down at home, who support us through thick and thin and we wear that on our own shoulders.”
Australia’s Adam Zampa was named player of the match after a sparkling all-round show of late hitting and wicket taking leg spin, which included dismissing England’s captain, who holed out carelessly to long-off. Afterwards Buttler was adamant the burden of captaincy and wicketkeeping was unrelated to his own poor form with the bat.
“I’ve enjoyed that responsibility in T20 cricket and ODI cricket before this tournament. I felt like it’s brought out a lot of really good things in my batting. So, it’s been frustrating, I think.
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“I can’t quite put a finger on why I’m not playing to the level I expected of myself. I’ve played a lot of cricket in India and played a lot of IPL cricket here so it’s not as if I don’t know the conditions or the grounds. As I say, as a captain you want to lead from the front.
“So, of all the things that have happened on this trip, I’d say my own form has been my biggest frustration.”