Buttler bemoans his batting woes after sixth World Cup loss

Ahmedabad, Nov 5 (UNI) England Captain Jos Buttler said that his batting form, or lack of it, has been a significant factor in England’s demoralising defence of their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup title.

England slumped to their sixth defeat in seven matches when they lost to Australia by 33 runs on Saturday, officially ending their chances of reaching the knockout stages.

Set a target of 287, England’s batters failed to fire once more, with Buttler dismissed for 1 at a crucial point in the chase.

That effort sees the England captain’s tournament average slip to just 15.14, with only Liam Livingstone having a lower figure out of the team’s recognised batters. And Buttler says that his failures with the bat have been hugely frustrating, an ICC report said.

“Of all the things that have happened on this trip, I’d say my own form has been my biggest frustration, because you want to lead from the front as a captain,” Buttler said, after the loss to Australia.

“Obviously, I’ve had a pivotal position in the batting line-up, so to play as poorly as I have done has had a big effect on the team,” he said.

England’s failure to defend their title has seen questions build over Buttler’s future as captain of the white-ball team.

But the skipper says that he doesn’t feel like the captaincy has impacted on his lack of form with the willow.

“The captaincy, it’s something I’ve enjoyed 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,” Buttler said..

“So, it’s been frustrating I think I can’t quite put a finger on why I’m not playing to the level I expect of myself,” he said.

“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. And as I say as a captain you want to lead from the front,” Buttler said.

England were reasonably well-placed in their chase effort, needing an increase of tempo but with wickets in hand with the score at 103/3 after 22 overs.

But Dawid Malan and Buttler were both caught in the deep off big shots to leave England requiring another rebuild.

Buttler says he has no issue with Malan’s choice of shot, and explained the mindset behind his own dismissal.

“The run rate was getting to a point where you have to try and score some runs and he obviously took an option on,” Buttler said of Malan. “I never criticise guys for being positive and trying to score runs.

“Personally, I wanted to try and put some pressure back on the opposition. It was a mis-execution, the ball was in the right area to hit. And I didn’t manage to play the shot correctly. So his dismissal had no effect on mine,” he said.

England have two games of their tournament remaining, with qualification for the next ICC Champions Trophy severely at risk.

Buttler’s side must finish in the top eight if they are to qualify for that event, and a win over Netherlands next up will be vital to their chances of doing so.

The England skipper wasn’t keen to be drawn on whether the selection would be different for that crunch match, with Harry Brook again left on the sidelines for this latest defeat.

“We can digest this game and we’ll come up with what we think is the best team to win the next game,” Buttler added.

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