Afghanistan made headlines in the 2023 World Cup as they beat the defending champions England. England failed to stead the ship against Afghanistan’s spin attack in Delhi. And, Jos Buttler stated that they wanted to play well but that couldn’t happen.
“Look, we always want to play positive and be aggressive and some days you don’t play as well as you want to,” Jos Buttler said at the post-match press conference. “Though Afghanistan built good pressure on us, maybe the wicket didn’t play exactly how we thought it would play and maybe the dew didn’t come in as much as we thought as well. Obviously, our spinners bowled really well and Afghanistan have some brilliant spinners so that was always going to be tough but we just didn’t manage to get the partnerships going that we wanted.”
“Yeah, he [Moeen] was close [to being picked] and yeah, the selection was… having watched the first couple of games here obviously India went with the extra seamer as well in their lineup. We thought the wicket would play similarly and maybe the dew would come in in the second half,” Buttler said, before quickly adding that England lost due to lack of partnerships. But no, I think whichever line-up we had, we just weren’t good enough today and we didn’t play well enough and full credit to Afghanistan, they deserve to win. It [conditions] probably wasn’t exactly how we thought, but I think we just didn’t manage to get the partnerships that we wanted,” he further added.
However, during England’s failed chase, Harry Brook played a one-man battle against Afghanistan’s top-class spin attack and earned the praise of Ben Stokes from the sidelines. Notably, Stokes has missed three World Cup matches after coming from his retirement decision, due to a nagging hip injury as well. Meanwhile, England has lost one more game in the tournament as well.
“There was good value for your shots out there. I think as Harry Brook showed, if you got yourself in, you could score runs and play well. We needed a couple of big partnerships to chase it down and obviously it gets easier the more you get in and we just didn’t manage to do that as individuals or as a team. Yeah, it’s a big setback obviously. Before the tournament starts you have a different idea of how the first three games would pan out. We’ve got to show a lot of character, a lot of resilience within the team and most of all a lot of belief. There were a lot of excellent players there and we haven’t played well enough today but we must keep that belief,” Jos Buttler concluded.