Jos Buttler was not too concerned by England’s 12-run defeat to Australia in Saturday’s World Cup warm-up match at the Ageas Bowl. Wicketkeeper Buttler acted as England’s stand-in captain for the match due to the finger injury suffered by regular skipper Eoin Morgan, but was unable to guide the hosts to victory, despite making a quickfire 52 of just 32 balls.
Steve Smith, who was playing against England for the first time since returning from a year-long ban for his involvement in the much-publicised ball-tampering scandal, proved to be the thorn in the hosts’ side as he made 116 during Australia’s innings.
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Buttler was not too concerned by the defeat, however, and he insists the entire England squad are now itching for the World Cup to get underway. “We never like losing, we were pretty good but not quite up to the marks we expect of ourselves,” Buttler said.
“We were ready for the tournament to start yesterday, everyone has been chomping at the bit to get started but that was a very good run out.” Regular skipper Morgan is expected to be fit for England’s opening match of the World Cup against South Africa at The Oval on Thursday despite his finger issue.
However, the hosts did pick up one or two other injury concerns during Saturday’s match, with Mark Wood, Liam Dawson and Jofra Archer all suffering knocks, while Chris Woakes played solely as a batsman to rest his long-standing knee problem.
The foot injury suffered by Wood was perhaps the most concerning injury, but Buttler is hopeful the fast bowler will be fit for Thursday’s World Cup opener. Buttler added: “Mark (Wood) has worked really hard, it’s something he has battled a bit which is obviously a frustration but he is in the best hands and we are hoping for the best for him.” England will play their final World Cup warm-up match against Afghanistan at The Oval on Monday.