Phil Salt has been left ‘frustrated’ by his failure to not kick-on and make big scores but the opener is confident that a big score is around the corner having shown positive signs in consecutive matches of England’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh.
Salt is neither first choice in ODIs nor T20Is but a combination of certain incumbents getting injured and others opting to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has seen the 26-year-old get a rare extended run.
However, he hasn’t been able to make the most of it as after posting scores of 7 and 12 in the first two ODIs, he was guilty of throwing away starts in the following two matches, scoring 35 and 38 in the third ODI and the first T20I respectively.
The low scores certainly haven’t helped his case but Salt, who is very much in the scheme of things for the 2023 World Cup, stated that the knocks he rues more are the ones in which he failed to capitalize on starts.
"I've had four hits here so far, and got two starts. Those are the most frustrating ones for me, because you want to be the guy that goes on to win the game,” Salt said post the first T20I.
“That's the mark of a world-class player, someone who takes the game on by themselves and wins it. So, it's frustrating, but I know it's not far away."
In many ways, Salt’s failure to kick-on contributed to England’s loss on Thursday. They were, at one point, 80/0 in the 10th over but ended with an underwhelming 156. As it turned out, Bangladesh got to the target comfortably in the end, getting there with 12 balls to spare losing just four wickets.
Salt admitted that England lost the game with the bat but credited the hosts for reading the conditions to perfection.
"We know that we could have ended the innings better," Salt said.
"In T20 cricket, when you lose wickets in successive balls it always hurts, having two new batters at the crease. But that's part of the game. On another day, we finish and get 180. Today we couldn't get that.
"The surface got a little bit better as the game went on, and the lights kicked in. The Bangladeshi team's knowledge of the conditions really gave them a step in the right direction today."
Salt did not kick-on and get a fifty on Thursday but his skipper and opening partner, Jos Buttler, did. Playing his first T20I since the T20WC, Buttler picked up from where he left as he smashed a nonchalant 42-ball 67. The skipper played his hand but unfortunately for the Three Lions, lack of support from the other end meant that Buttler’s efforts went to waste.
Salt was full of praise for his England and Manchester Originals teammate, who he claimed is the batter everybody is looking to emulate.
"We've batted together now for a couple of years in the Hundred," Salt said of Buttler.
“So I know his game very well, and he knows mine. To be honest, he's probably one of my favourite opening partners. He's got so many different options, his skill level is so high.
"In white-ball cricket around the world at the moment, he is the benchmark with the bat. He is the best around, so I think everybody wants to emulate him."
The series caravan now moves to Dhaka, with the final two ODIs being played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.