Less than 90 hours after lifting the T20 World Cup at the mighty ‘G, duty beckons the English players again, who on Thursday will lock horns with hosts Australia in a three-match ODI series.
The first of the three matches will be played at the Adelaide Oval, and the scheduling of the series — which is not part of the ODI Super League — was labeled ‘horrible’ by Moeen Ali, who on Tuesday asserted that it’s impossible for players to give their 100% if they’re asked to play every alternate day.
On the eve of the ODI series, England skipper Jos Buttler echoed Ali’s sentiments, and admitted that he and other English players would be lying if they said they’ll be at their very best come the first game.
"There's no point saying all the right things, that we'll be at our best," Buttler said on Wednesday.
"It's tough, I think, absolutely. But we just get on with it. It is a fast turnaround, there's no point hiding away that it will be a challenge for us, having had such a high a few days ago.
"We just go into it trying to really enjoy the games and play with lots of freedom - not that we need any excuse to do that.”
Even if it’s a ‘meaningless bilateral’, Australia-England clashes tend to hold value due to the history between the two sides, and Buttler reckoned that once the players hit the field, ‘competitive juices will get going.’
"Once you get over the line and you're playing against Australia, I'm sure those competitive juices will get going,” Buttler said.
Buttler did not go too much into detail when it came to the playing XI, but hinted that Dawid Malan might feature on Thursday. Buttler confirmed that Malan was fit for the final, but wasn’t risked as a precautionary measure.
"He was fit to play in the final," Buttler said of Malan.
"There was an element of risk there which we didn't want to take but it's had a few more days. I'm sure he'll be in a place to play.
"There's fresh energy, some fantastic players are coming in and want to stamp their mark. There's such depth in talent in the white-ball game, it's tough to get in the final XI and good players miss out.
"A few guys maybe didn't have as many chances as they would have liked throughout the World Cup but they're desperate to perform. It's always the mark of a good team when good players are missing out."
Australia, meanwhile, on Thursday, will begin a new-chapter in 50-over cricket, with Pat Cummins taking charge for the first time in coloured clothing. Cummins succeeds the retired Aaron Finch, and he is expected to skipper the ODI side till the 2023 World Cup.