Jos Buttler was philosophical despite beginning his reign as England cue ball captain with a heavy defeat, admitting his side were “outplayed” by India in the first Twenty20 international.
In his first match since taking over full-time following Eoin Morgan’s international retirement, Buttler was castled by a golden duck as England went on 148 in 19.3 overs to lose by 50 runs.
After Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s diabolical slam dunk hit the inside rim, sliced through Buttler’s pad and set the balls on fire, Hardik Pandya took four for 33, leaving India 1-0 ahead in the three-match series.
Buttler was surprised by the lavish swing on offer to India’s bowlers and admitted England could have done more to alter their pace, but remains optimistic ahead of the second T20 on Saturday.
“To keep taking the game,” Buttler said, when asked what his message is in the loss. “You try to play in conditions where you look for ways to put pressure back on the opposition.
“Whether it’s running between the wickets or taking risks to try and drive them away, we haven’t seen a ball swing that much in T20 play for a while.
“We probably needed to have one in the stands or something to make it stop swinging!
“The message will always be the same, we will always look to play in a positive way, we were outclassed here, but that’s fine. There is a great opportunity in two days to try again.”
“It’s pretty easy to come back, to be honest. Nothing changes much for us just because we lost the game. We will arrive at Edgbaston full of confidence and eager to play our brand of cricket.”
Hardik scored top marks with 51 from 33 balls, but there were also spirited cameos from Rohit Sharma (24 from 14), Deepak Hooda (33 from 17) and Suryakumar Yadav (39 from 19) as India racked up 198 from eight.
Several England bowlers were expensive, but Chris Jordan was particularly impressive with figures of two for 23, while Moeen Ali, in his 50th T20 international appearance, also took a pair of wickets.
While Jordan put behind him a disappointing winter, in which his bowling of death came under scrutiny, and added an undefeated 26 on the order, Moeen landed a pair of heavy shots on his 20-ball 36.
“CJ was absolutely brilliant,” Buttler added. “It was great to see a guy with a lot of experience and someone I have full faith in shooting the ball to come out with such brilliant figures in a high scoring game.
“And Moeen is an incredibly selfless cricketer, he’s played a lot of different roles for us in the team, he’s always up for bowling at any time and batting anywhere in the order, so he’s a great guy to have in the team. cluster.
“They are experienced guys who are true leaders in the team and you are always going to lean on them.”
England’s attempt to chase the total under the lights at Southampton would have been challenging enough, but their attempt was dealt a severe blow by the early loss of Buttler, the most valuable player in this year’s Indian Premier League and the leading scorer for careers.
Kumar had annoyed Jason Roy with deliveries whizzing past the outside edge, but then showed his immense skill to return one through Buttler’s gate, much to the delight of Hardik, who took advantage of it by taking out Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone in the same over and also represented Roy and Sam Curran.
Hardik said: “It was a very big wicket. Everyone knows what Jos can do and he has been someone who wins the game on any day he chooses.
“It took a special ball to catch him because the field was set up for an outswinger, there was no midwicket, and Bhuvi did what he does best, trick the batsman, set him up and then throw the ball, which he did was fantastic.”