T20 World Cup: Buttler admits tactical mistake of not bowling Moeen Ali on turning Providence track

India will face South Africa in the final and Buttler feels it will be a game of close margins.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 08:30 IST

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Georgetown, Guyana: Admitting that they were completely outplayed by India in the T20 World Cup semifinal, England skipper Jos Buttler said in hindsight it was a tactical mistake on his part to not bowl Moeen Ali on a turning Providence pitch here.

Indian spin twin of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav claimed three wickets each as the defending champions folded for 103 in 16.4 overs in their pursuit of 172 in a rain-interrupted semi-final here on Thursday.

"Yeah, disappointing. I think we were outplayed by India. They fully deserved the victory," Buttler said in the post-match media interaction.

"They had an above-par score. I was hoping to restrict them to 145-150 probably on that pitch. It was always going to be a tough chase from there."

Having won the toss, the England skipper went in with an unchanged XI and it was Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone who were his chosen spinners, overlooking Moeen Ali perhaps to deal with the damp conditions.

Rashid and Livingstone conceded just 49 runs in their eight overs with the former also ending the explosive innings of India skipper Rohit Sharma for a 39-ball 57 in the 14th over.

Asked if there was a failure of plans or execution, Buttler said: "A little bit of both. I thought they played well as well. I thought we bowled a little bit without luck in the power play, a few close calls there.

"But, yes, I think the benefit of hindsight and reflecting, I would have got Moeen (Ali) in the game of course. So, yes, bits and pieces here and there," Buttler admitted.

The ball was turning viciously and staying low as Rohit placed close-in fielders that resembled playing Tests in India.

"I think everyone knew what to expect from this wicket. I think traditionally the bounce is low. And yeah, I thought India played really well and they played the conditions better than we did."

Asked about their playing combination, Buttler said: "We thought long and hard about selection, about whether we kept the same balance that had been working well, or did we need four seamers on that particular wicket. That was a really tough call that we made and we ended up sticking with what we had."

"India played a really good game of cricket, whatever team or whatever happened at the toss -- they were going to be a tough team to beat and we had to be at our best if we were going to win the game and we were short of our best today."

India will face South Africa in the final and Buttler feels it will be a game of close margins.

"The two top sides in the final is going to be a game of small margins and it's going to be a great game. Two really good teams," he said.

The Buttler-led side managed to beat only one Test playing nation -- West Indies -- in this tournament and were on the brink of early elimination after a washout against Scotland and a defeat to Australia in the group stage.

However, Australia handed them a lifeline by beating Scotland and they narrowly managed to make the Super 8s beating Namibia via DLS method.

"Reaching a semi-final of a World Cup is an achievement. We wanted to obviously go all the way. That was what we came here for," said Buttler, who led them to the T20 World Cup title in 2022 after taking over white-ball captaincy from Eoin Morgan.

"We faced lots of challenges and adversity throughout the whole tournament and we've stuck together well and played well enough to get to this stage. But unfortunately, at this stage, we've fallen short."

"I think everyone has made progress and we've played well and not well enough, but I think the stuff that we've been doing behind the scenes, the way we've prepared, the way we've trained, the way we've played in patches has been really good.

"There's a lot of talent in the team. And yes, we came up against a top team today in these conditions," he said.

Asked if there would be fresh faces the next time, he said: "Yeah, I think... I can't do that. I haven’t taken in the defeat. Very much thinking about this game and what happened and yeah, I think they say there's some time between today and the next matches, and we can see what happens."

On his future plans and whether he would stay on as captain until the Champions Trophy in Pakistan in February, he said: "To be honest, I'm just looking forward to some time away from the game.

"As I sit here, emotional after a loss, I don't need to dive too deep into it right now. I just look forward to some space from the game."

Published 28 June 2024, 08:30 IST

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