Cricket World Cup 2019: Jos Buttler to follow Eoin Morgan’s lead as temporary England captain

Batsman, wicket-keeper, new father and now quite possibly England’s temporary World Cup captain. The weight of responsibility that just one of these roles carries, let alone four, may be heavy for some, but for Jos Buttler it’s the latest addition to his already packed game.

England’s star player, and one of the most dangerous batsman in one-day cricket, is likely to briefly be named England captain for Tuesday’s game against Afghanistan in the absence of Eoin Morgan.

The short-form captain was forced off in the first innings during England’s eight-wicket win against the West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl with a back spasm that may keep him out of the next game.

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Buttler was promoted from vice-captain to centre stage and wasted little time in using his new authority by quickly calling for a review when Nicholas Pooran edge was off Jofra Archer’s delivery was not spotted.

Morgan will know soon how serious his back spasm is, he was unable to sit down after match, and is unlikely to be risked against Afghanistan as England seek their fourth win in five World Cup matches.


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As wicket-keeper and vice-captain, Buttler is in constant communication with Morgan during the games and said he will not change too much if he is given the honour to lead the side.

“I’ve played under Eoin for a long time and he’s a fantastic captain, someone I’ve tried to learn off and being vice-captain I talk to him a lot about the game,” he said. “We’ve got some quite similar views so I think it will be very similar.

“I’d rather Eoin plays,” he added. “I think if it comes to having to captain it will be a huge honour.

“To do it from behind the stumps, I have a fantastic view of what’s going on and I’ll be able to manage those two jobs and separate them as much as I can in the 10 seconds you have to be a wicket-keeper do that to the best of your ability then outside of that all yourself to think about the game.”

Fortunately for England, the squad is rich with experience and expert knowledge that Buttler can turn to if Morgan is watching from the balcony on the dressing room. One player in particular that he will lean on is England’s Test captain, Joe Root.

“Joe Root will be the obvious one,” Buttler said when asked if he’ll look for an assigned deputy. “One of the strengths of the group is having a lot of guys willing to offer advice, there’s guys you can talk to.

“Whether there is someone termed vice-captain or not, there’s quite few of them on field and I don’t think it matters too much who is an official vice-captain. It’s a tight group and they’re good at sharing information and ideas.”

Buttler, who had just recovered from a hip injury he picked up against Bangladesh, may have expected to play a big role in England’s chase on Friday after they lost Morgan and Jason Roy to injuries and possibly open the batting like he does in some T20 competitions. However Joe Root’s century alongside Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes was enough to comfortably win and get England’s World Cup effort back into top gear.

“Joe is always quite keen to go up and do it. In a chase like that it could be tricky if we lost early wickets but we had someone of Joe’s calibre to stand up and score a great hundred is fantastic for us.”

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