England suffered a crushing 8-wicket defeat at the hands of India in the first T20I at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday (July 3).
After being put into bat, the hosts batsmen were bamboozled by India’s wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who claimed his maiden five-wicket haul (5/24 in 4 overs) in T20I cricket. Jos Buttler was the lone warrior for England with bat, scoring 69 runs off 46 balls to help England reach a respectable total of 159/8 in their stipulated 20 overs.
In reply, KL Rahul struck a breezy 54-ball 101*, laced with 10 fours and five sixes to guide India home with 10 balls to spare. With this win, the visitors also go 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series. However, Buttler isn’t reading too much into the Manchester defeat as he believes that hosts have the firepower to bounce back in the next game.
"It's one game. It's T20. We are confident. We will stick to what has served us well, stay true to ourselves and come back hard at them in the next game," Buttler quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
He also added that India were always going to be a tougher opponent for them albeit their recent dominance against Australia in ODI and T20I series.
"India are and always are an amazing cricketing nation. They always pose different threats and a different style to, say, Australia, so it will be a really good challenge. This is why you play, to take on the best. India is a huge cricketing nation with fanatical support. Being a diverse country, we have a lot of Indian supporters and it makes for a great atmosphere. We just have to accept that, and they get that support everywhere in the world," Buttler asserted.
In the Manchester T20I, Buttler, who usually bats in the lower middle-order, was promoted to open the innings and the England wicketkeeper-batsman considered it as the best place to bat.
"It's a fantastic place to bat. It's been another good challenge for me in my career and refreshing. Whether that's me opening forever, I don't know, I'd hope to retain the flexibility. But I do think it's the best place to bat. But it comes down to the make up of the team," Buttler opined.
Jos Buttler also admitted that they will have to work on their game to combat a quality wrist spinner like Kuldeep.
"It's very rare and he's a very good bowler. It's now down to the guys to gain an understanding. You see it a lot in international cricket that guys burst onto the scene and then people get a handle on them,” Buttler said of Kuldeep.
"It's getting used to the angle [because] wrist-spin is usually right-arm. He's a good bowler and as we have seen, wrist spinners have been a big weapon in T20. We know we are a lot better than we showed during that little phase of the game. We just didn't manage to capitalize on the start," he concluded.
The second T20I between India and England will be played at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Friday (July 6).
(With inputs from Cricbuzz)