Certainly no questioning of Morgan's position from within the camp: Buttler

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23 Jun 2022 | 03:50 AM
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Certainly no questioning of Morgan's position from within the camp: Buttler

The left-hander has only managed one 50-plus score in his last 26 international innings

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have backed Eoin Morgan to come good with the bat and expressed surprise at questions over England's white-ball skipper's future ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia and the 50-over World Cup 2023 in India.

Morgan has only managed one 50-plus score (75* v Sri Lanka in July 2021) in his last 26 international innings. The left-hander couldn't open his account in the first two ODIs against the Netherlands and missed the final encounter due to a tight groin, an injury he first suffered last month.

"There's certainly no questioning of his position from within the camp. I can't put into words what he's achieved. Everyone always talks about his captaincy but you forget what a brilliant batsman he's been for England in over 200 ODIs, that doesn't just go away overnight. Everyone in the team is backing him," said Buttler, who captained England in the third ODI in the absence of Morgan.

Meanwhile, England Test captain Stokes said: "Well, he's only had two low scores, so I wouldn't say he's going through a hard time at the moment. I think the press are the only ones giving him a hard time and I think the players have shown it's not an issue with them. People are allowed to not score many runs - and more than that, he's our captain. He's a phenomenal leader and always will be, so I've got no issues with anything going on with him at the moment."

The Netherlands didn't stand a chance against England and lost the series 3-0. And, it was Buttler who was named Player of the Series. The wicketkeeper-batter smoked 162* off 70 deliveries in the first ODI but didn't get a chance to bat in the second ODI. He then slammed 86* off 64 in the final encounter to finish the series on a high. 

Talking about captaining England, Buttler said: "I was disappointed for Morgs to miss out but it's a good challenge and an honour any time you get to captain the team.

"I did enjoy it. It's a different challenge, of course, trying to work that and (it's something that) I've got to learn about. We bowled really well today: we probably created a couple of chances at the start where maybe we could have picked up a couple more wickets there, but the way we came back and took wickets at a great time to restrict them made it a fantastic bowling display.

"I'd say it's too early to have a (captaincy) style, really. I've got to try and be myself. I'm not Eoin, I can't try to be him, so I'll just have to - when I get to do it - try to be myself and be open to learning about it really."

The dynamic right-hander has been in outstanding form in white-ball cricket. Buttler was phenomenal in the Indian Premier League 2022, smashing 863 runs in 17 innings at an average of 57.53 and a strike rate of 149.05. He ended the season with four centuries and as many fifties.

"The IPL was incredibly special, personally. To have a tournament like that, I surprised myself and I really enjoyed that - and I learned a lot about my batting. When you get to a place like that, (it's about) being hungry to continue that.

"I look at someone like Joe Root who has been a great example to us in English cricket, he's scored runs after runs and wants to continue that and that's a great example to anyone that when you're in good form, you have to make the most of it.

"What's important for us in white-ball cricket in England is we talk about playing in a particular fashion and we must try and live that to the max. Of course, there's a bit of a risk element to that way of playing but it's what we ask of everyone. Each individual has to continue to take that forward."

However, what about making a comeback to the Test side? "I haven't had any conversations with anyone about that. I'm very happy with where I'm at, at the moment: it might not ever be a question that has to be answered," said Buttler.

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Netherlands vs EnglandEngland tour of Netherlands, 2022EnglandJos ButtlerEoin MorganBen Stokes

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