Despite England’s comprehensive 38-runs victory in the second ODI against Australia at Cardiff on Saturday (June 16), the stand-in English skipper Jos Buttler feels that the hosts were not up to the mark and still ought to improve in some areas.
After being put into bat, England rode on Jason Roy’s scintillating 120 off 108 balls (12 fours and 2 sixes) and Buttler’s unbeaten 91 off 70 balls (8 fours and 2 sixes) to put on a mammoth 342/8 in 50 overs.
However, the hosts didn't have it as easy with Shaun Marsh proving to be a thorn in their flesh. The southpaw scored a majestic 131 off 116 balls but for the lack of support, he couldn’t saw Australia home.
"I think we've still got areas we can improve on to polish up and make us more rounded performers. As we always do we're looking to strive to get better. We actually got into a position where we probably could have got a few more, and I thought Australia bowled pretty well at the end,” Buttler said after the match, as per the quotes in Cricbuzz.
"[Roy] played very well from ball one today. It was fantastic to watch, I thought he paced it very well. But a fantastic innings from him and great to see," he added.
Chasing the target of 343, Australia were tottering at 164/5 in 30.2 overs before Marsh and Ashton Agar stitched a 96-runs stand for the sixth wicket to keep up the visitors’ fight. Nonetheless, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid came to the rescue for hosts by removing the tailenders in rather quick time. While Plunkett finished with the figures of 4 for 53, Rashid scalped 3 for 70.
"Wickets for those guys was crucial at those times. They've been two great wicket-takers for us over the past two years. Adil, I thought he took the pressure of bowling at the end with batters coming after him really well, so that's really encouraging signs for him, and Liam continues to be one of our best strike-bowlers," Buttler remarked.
"They were playing very well. As you see in cricket all around the world 10 an over is very achievable, especially when you have a guy playing as well as Shaun Marsh was. We had to fight hard and keep fighting but 40 runs is a good victory margin in the end," he concluded.
On the other hand, Australia captain Tim Paine was in all praise for Shaun Marsh but rued the lack of support for the left-hander.
"The way Shaun Marsh played throughout our innings showed that we could have chased them. If he continues to play like that he'll continue to play a lot of cricket for Australia. We just didn't have anyone go with him unfortunately until Ashton came out there at the end and got us back in the game," Paine quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
"It would have been nice to have been a wicket or two more in hand when Shaun started to go there but I suppose when you're that many wickets down and getting into the tail it can be hard work. Ashton came out and I thought played superbly and gave us a chance but unfortunately, we just didn't get over the line," he further said.
The third ODI between England and Australia will be played at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Tuesday (June 19).