Lahore : Regular England white-ball captain Jos Buttler said he was taking a “cautious approach” towards his return to playing cricket after recovery from a calf injury ahead of the T20 World Cup starting in Australia next month.
Buttler has not played a competitive game since August 18 due a calf injury he sustained during The Hundred. He is with the touring England side on the seven T20Is tour of Pakistan, where he is observing his team-mates.
With England having two more T20Is against Pakistan and three against Australia before their T20 World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22, Buttler is understandably cautious and is taking time over returning to play at full fitness.
“I am progressing well. It would be nice to play but with the World Cup round the corner we are taking a cautious approach. I am running a few drinks, getting the loads up, feeling good. I feel like if it was a World Cup game tomorrow I could play but I am being a bit cautious and taking it a bit slowly.
If I had to, I could play,” said Buttler to broadcasters Sky Sports during the fifth T20I at Lahore.As a non-playing member in the England side, Buttler is getting to observe and discover insights about his team-mates in different situations.
“It is quite a unique situation to be here and not play, to observe. I am learning lots listening to the group and watching the way they go about things, watching without as much emotion as when you are involved and thinking about what you will do at certain times.”
“(Stand-in skipper) Moeen Ali has been fantastic. I have very much asked him to lead the group and take it on as if he is captain and he has been brilliant – great around the group as he always is and on the field I have been impressed.”
Buttler is set to open for England at the T20 World Cup and hinted at rising batter Harry Brook getting a place in the middle-order for the tournament opener, as seen from his unbeaten 81 from 35 balls in the third match at Karachi.
“Brook is giving people really good selection headaches which is what you want. The mark of good teams is good people outside the XI pushing to get in the XI. He has got a lot of game, a lot of options.””I don’t think he pre-meditates too much, he reacts to every ball coming down.
I like his demeanour at the crease and I like the way he goes about his business. He is pretty unflappable.”Buttler signed off by being delighted over tearaway pacer Mark Wood’s show, picking three wickets each in his two matches on the tour, after a hiatus of seven months from international stage due to elbow injury and two surgeries on it.
“I have been delighted with Woody. He is such a great man to have in your team on and off the field. He has shown a great amount of resilience. He has been through lots of injuries but bounces back every time and does the work.”
“To bowl 97mph the other day was fantastic. Anyone who bowls at that pace creates chances and mistakes and being able to have a genuine wicket-taker is valuable in T20 cricket.”