• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Dharamsala outfield not ideal for World Cup: Buttler

Defending champions England are hoping to bounce back from their nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand

Jos Buttler (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)

By: Pramod Thomas

ENGLAND captain Jos Buttler is concerned with the outfield in Dharamsala, which he thinks is not ideal for World Cup matches.

Former England batter and Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott questioned the condition of the outfield after spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman narrowly escaped injury after jamming his knee into the sandy surface.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given the outfield an “average” rating, allowing it to host World Cup matches, but concerns about players’ safety while fielding lingers.

“It’s poor in my own opinion,” Buttler told reporters on Monday (9) ahead of the match against Bangladesh.

“Any time you’re talking about being careful diving or sort of being careful when you’re fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team.”

“So that’s obviously not ideal, the way the surface is, the outfield. But we won’t use it as an excuse, we’ll adapt to it.”

Defending champions England are hoping to bounce back from their nine-wicket thrashing by New Zealand in Thursday’s (5) tournament opener in Ahmedabad.

An unsafe outfield adds to the problems of a side fretting on the fitness of Stokes who missed the first match with a minor hip issue.

“You want to put your body on the line and be trying to save every single run or have confidence in the field. So, it’s not as good as it could be or should be, but it’s going to be the same for both teams, and the wicket looks fantastic,” Buttler said.

Bangladesh spin bowling coach Rangana Herath said they were happy with the outfield on which they beat Afghanistan on Saturday and would not instruct their players to avoid sliding.

“No, we are not going to restrict anything because if you ask someone to restrict something, in that case they don’t give their 100%,” the former Sri Lanka spinner said.

“We are asking them to give their best in the outfield as well.”

While Bangladesh are upbeat having beaten Afghanistan in their opener, Buttler has been candid about the horror start to England’s title defence.

“We know we didn’t play as well as we can in the last game and you’re always desperate to put that right, both individually and as a team,” the England captain said.

“So, there’s plenty of hunger in the group and we’re excited to get back on the field.”

England’s Oct. 15 contest against Afghanistan in New Delhi looks a more realistic target for Stokes to return to action.

“It’s good to see him back in the nets and building back towards full fitness but probably unlikely for tomorrow,” Buttler said.

(Reuters)

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