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Jos Buttler insists England have ‘fantastic’ confidence despite South Africa defeats extending poor ODI run


os Buttler says England have the “ingrained confidence” to weather their run of poor results and believes last year’s T20 World Cup success is proof they can still turn it on when it comes to the autumn’s 50-over defence.

Yesterday’s narrow five-wicket loss to South Africa in Bloemfontein made it five successive one-day international defeats for Buttler’s side. The first three of those came in what was effectively a write-off series in Australia in November, but the worrying run of form stretches back to last year’s home summer, with England having won just two of 10 completed games since Buttler replaced the retired Eoin Morgan.

The World Cup starts in India in mid-October, and England are scheduled to play just 11 more ODIs before flying to the subcontinent. But Buttler insists there is no cause for panic.

“There was a lot of change in the summer and we haven’t played to the level we’re capable of,” he said. “[But] there’s ingrained confidence in the guys over a long period of time in white-ball cricket. That confidence is fantastic to be able to call on and experience.

“We’re disappointed not to be getting results, but [we have] belief in the way we play and the success we’ve had over a long time. We need to push that envelope further and not rest on our laurels.”

The home World Cup triumph of 2019 was the crowning moment for a settled one-day side that had established itself as the planet’s best over a four-year cycle.

The team for last year’s T20 success, however, came together more last-minute, with Harry Brook breaking into the XI, Alex Hales recalled, Ben Stokes returning to the format and Sam Curran being reinvented as a death-bowler, all on the eve of the tournament.

With Mark Wood, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and — should he un-retire — Stokes still to come back into the 50-over group,England’s line-up is again expected to look markedly different come their World Cup opener.

“There’s a big picture of building towards the World Cup, and the T20 World Cup is quite a good learning for us that you probably don’t have to go exactly on the form you have leading into it,” Buttler added.

“The time as a team where we want to be really clear and set, ready to go for the World Cup is when we play New Zealand at home in September. That’s what you’re building towards.”

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