Jos Buttler believes England will be ready to adjust their gameplan if rain interferes in their T20 World Cup clashes against Ireland or Australia at the MCG this week.
The Australian east coast has been damper and cooler than usual because of the ongoing La Nina weather pattern, with downpours at Hobart on Monday forcing a no-result between South Africa and Zimbabwe.
While the Melbourne weather is notoriously difficult to predict, there are showers forecast on Wednesday and Friday which could impact England’s campaign and lead to shortened matches.
Such an occurrence might benefit Ireland, in particular, as fewer overs leads to more of a shootout, but Buttler is unfazed at the prospect and believes his squad is varied enough to cope with any eventuality.
“The big key is to be able to react quickly to those kinds of things,” the England captain said. “You have a little idea of things you might do if those kinds of things happen.
“But I don’t want to get too sort of preoccupied with what-ifs. I don’t want to spend all night staying awake thinking about what might happen, just try and react to it when it does happen.
“What’s great about the squad and our team is we’ve got lots of different options, and even in the same team you can ask people to fulfil different roles.
“That gives us a lot of options when situations change and change quickly – whether that’s rain or something, and then we can try and change tack quickly and adapt.”
Points shared with persistent rain in Hobart 🤝#SAvZIM | #T20WorldCup | 📝: https://t.co/D7bhRRb9Qa pic.twitter.com/Ktn0Sd7YRQ
— ICC (@ICC) October 24, 2022
Buttler accepted there is a delicate balancing act in continuing a match in the rain and bringing the players off – even if one side is on the verge of victory as South Africa were against Zimbabwe.
Set a revised total of 64 in seven overs, the Proteas reached 51 for none off three but the rain at the Bellerive Oval grew heavier and Zimbabwe’s Richard Ngarava seemed to injure himself after slipping.
Officials attempted to get the game played to a conclusion but the players were brought off and each side claimed a point, with a minimum of five overs each required to constitute a result.
“Whichever side you’re on, you’re probably going to have a little tendency one way,” said Buttler, whose side started the World Cup with a five-wicket win over Afghanistan at Perth on Saturday.
“For instance, if we play and there’s a little bit of rain which isn’t that heavy and it looks like it’s going to blow through, can we just stay on and keep going?
“Where it’s reasonable if you can continue the game as much as you can, I think that’s the right decision. If it becomes dangerous or unfair then it’s certainly the right decision to stop the game.”
Buttler was tight-lipped about whether England would rotate one or two of their bowlers with such a tight turnaround between the Ireland and Australia games.
While Chris Woakes and Mark Wood could be rested, with Chris Jordan, David Willey and Tymal Mills waiting in the wings, Buttler was adamant they cannot afford to overlook any opposition and will be fielding what he thinks is their strongest line-up against the Irish.
“In such a short tournament, in must-win games pretty much every time, what’s important is to try and put what we think is our best team on the park as many times as we can,” Buttler added.
“Anytime you take things for granted or you don’t respect the opposition is when you can get hurt.
“I know England playing Ireland obviously from the outside adds extra storylines or can add extra motivation for certain people, but for our team, we respect every opposition.
“We expect a really tough game from everyone we play. We’re very much taking one game at a time, and we don’t expect Ireland to not bring their best cricket.
“They’re going to be fired up for the game. They’re going to want to try and beat us, and we want to beat them.”
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