Following England’s 10-wicket drubbing of India in the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, captain Jos Buttler felt that his team had left the memory of the shock defeat to Ireland earlier in the tournament far behind it.
“The Ireland game feels a long time ago. The character we’ve shown to get through the tournament since then and put in our best performance today, has been amazing. We came here excited, it was a really good feeling when we came in. A group effort from 1 to 11,” Buttler said.
Chasing a below-par 169, England openers Buttler and Alex Hales were off the blocks in a flash, scoring 63 runs in the PowerPlay. Throughout the tournament, England has relied on its openers giving the team a strong start. As a result, England has the highest run rate in the PowerPlay (8.60) in the tournament.
“We always want to start as fast as we can and aggressive. Adil Rashid was down at No. 11 today, and that gives us the freedom to come out aggressive, that depth,” Buttler added.
The captain heaped praise on his opening partner Hales, who struck a 47-ball 86 and is England’s top run-scorer in the tournament, with 211 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 148.59.
“Hales was tough to bowl at today, he used the dimensions of the ground, and we complement each other perfectly. He was a brilliant partner today.”
Buttler was also impressed by pacer Chris Jordan, who replaced the injured Mark Wood and was playing his first match of the tournament.
“Special praise to Chris Jordan for coming in today, not having played so far, and he ran into Hardik playing fantastically at the death, but I thought he handed that really well,” Buttler said.
Jordan bowled two overs at the death, conceding 27 runs and claiming the key wickets of Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya and ended with figures of three for 43 from his four overs. Earlier in the innings, Jordan had dismissed India skipper Rohit Sharma.
England will take on Pakistan in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Both teams will be eyeing a record-equalling second T20 World Cup title.