Woakes, a 34-year-old seam bowling all-rounder, has struggled to make his mark on India’s tough pitches. In England’s first three matches, he managed to secure just two wickets at a significantly high average of 67.5. Woakes lost to Afghanistan by 69 runs in Delhi on Sunday.
Speaking about Woakes during the pre-match press conference, Buttler praised his historic contribution to the England cricket team: “He has been a fantastic player in England for an incredible long time in all formats and especially in one-day cricket.”
Buttler went on to highlight the team’s culture of honesty and high standards: “We’re all honest guys, aren’t we? We’re all honest professionals who hold each other to high standards and expect a lot from each other individually. He knows he hasn’t performed the way he should at the time he wanted to, and that’s frustrating.”
With star universal Ben Stokes When he is declared fit for the tournament after recovering from a hip problem, a difficult decision regarding the composition of the team is on the horizon. Buttler emphasized the team’s support for all their players, including Woakes, saying: “We always support all our players who are in our team – we have chosen them for a number of reasons, one being that they are top-class players. (Wakes) is definitely one of them.”
Turning his attention to Test captain Ben Stokes, who was part of England’s 2019 World Cup triumph, Buttler said: “Ben trained really well last night. It’s great to see him back. He obviously brings a lot on the field and his presence and leadership skills, as well as someone who is always good to turn to.’
On the other side of the World Cup spectrum, South Africa suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, losing by 38 points. The setback followed Holland’s elimination from last year’s World Twenty20 Championship in Australia.
Buttler, while acknowledging South Africa’s strengths, including a “powerful six” and formidable fast bowling depth, admitted his surprise at Tuesday’s result in Dharamsala, saying: “I think you are always surprised when things like this happen. No disrespect to Holland. They played fantastic cricket and deserved to win it… But that’s what makes the sport fantastic.
(With inputs from AFP)
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