Jos Buttler is confident England can pull off a sensational World Cup double even though two of their best players will be watching on TV.
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are two of the best T20 cricketers in the world and were central to the first 50-over World Cup triumph in 2019.
But with them both injured out of the T20 version starting next month, Buttler still reckons that England have enough firepower to claim a second successive trophy thanks to the emergence of talent like Liam Livingstone.
“The depth we have is just fantastic,” said Buttler. “Watching a whole new white-ball squad win against Pakistan in the summer showed how much pressure we are under to perform.
“Look at the World Cup squad. Two superstars in Stokes and Archer are not there who are a huge miss, yet you look down that list and think even without those guys we’ve still got a brilliant team who can win the tournament.
“There is plenty of talent available as we’ve seen, just look at someone like Liam Livingstone who has elevated his game to a new level after being given an opportunity this summer.
“To see a guy like that pick up the mantle and run with it is just great, and going into the World Cup he is now someone who we are looking at as a key player.”
Buttler can count himself as another key player. A proven match-winner who can deliver on the biggest stage, but as of yet 2021 hasn’t exactly fired for him.
Whether it was missed games through quarantine and injury, or a lack of form across different formats, Buttler admits rhythm and performance has been hard to come by this year.
But as he talks enthusiastically about the upcoming World Cup, smartly fitted out in England’s next kit supplier Castore, there is a steely determination to make sure that he can make an impact on the biggest prizes of the year.
“It has been a frustrating summer for me. It has been stop/start and I’ve not really got into a great rhythm at all, but it has given me that desire and excitement already for when we get to the World Cup.
“I’ve got a burning ambition to bring my best cricket and play really well at that tournament as part of an exciting team with a great chance, I believe, to win the trophy.”
And what of the Ashes that follows?
With his second daughter recently arriving, Buttler withdrew from the IPL currently taking place, a decision made in the best interests of him and his family.
And he will take the same approach to the Ashes and beyond depending on what the final arrangements look like from Cricket Australia.
He added: “The world has become a tougher place to make decisions in and there are scenarios that you’ve never experienced before coming up.
“As players everyone has got a different outlook on things and attach different importance to certain things.
“I think you have to be comfortable with whatever decision you make and for your reasons. That is how I look at it personally.
“I take on all the information that I can and look at what is going on in my life at a certain point and then make the best decision I can for me and my family.
“You need as much information as possible and in the next few days we hope to have more about what the tour will look like and the conditions we’ll be under, then we can make a decision.”
Jos Buttler is a brand ambassador for Castore who will be England Cricket’s kit supplier from March 2022. Visit Castore.com
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