Men’s ODI WC: Buttler banking on familiarity with Mumbai, past history at Wankhede against South Africa

When it comes to Mumbai, England white-ball captain Jos Buttler has fond memories of the City and the Wankhede Stadium.

When it comes to Mumbai, England white-ball captain Jos Buttler has fond memories of the City and the Wankhede Stadium.

Buttler made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut for Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede and has scored a lot of runs for Mumbai Indians and against them at the iconic venue.

At the international level, in the T20 World Cup in 2016, England played South Africa in a well-contested match at the Wankhede, going on to win the thriller by two wickets with two balls to spare.


Now, as captain of his national team, Buttler is hoping to capitalise on his familiarity with the venue and the success he enjoyed at the Wankhede to help beat South Africa in a crucial match of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Buttler is hoping that they will be able to put their campaign in the World Cup back on the rails with a win against South Africa.

“It’s certainly a ground I’ve enjoyed playing at before. I started my IPL journey here with Mumbai as well, so it’s always a place with fond memories. I think it’s a fantastic cricket ground and looking forward to playing here tomorrow,” Buttler said.

The England captain said Wankhede has a fantastic cricket wicket and he believes that it will suit England.

“I think this is one of the great grounds in India. I love playing cricket here. I think it’s a fantastic cricket wicket. So yeah, absolutely, it should suit us,” he said in the pre-match press conference at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

Both teams have lost their previous encounters against minnows, England slumping to defeat against Afghanistan while South Africa were stunned by the Netherlands.

Buttler, however, said they have moved on from that nightmare encounter.

“We’ve very much moved on and we’re fully focused on the game on Saturday night. We can’t change what happened in the previous game. We trained really well yesterday; we train well again today and there’s a lot of excitement for the game tomorrow,” said Buttler.

The England captain was reminded of that memorable win over South Africa at the Wankhede in the T20 World Cup and hoped that his boys would get inspired by that performance.

“Yeah, absolutely, fantastic game. One of my favourite games that I think had a lot of value in terms of where we were going as a team and the direction we wanted to play. So great memories of that night, albeit a long time ago. And absolutely, that style is a different format. We want to find ways to make a play, to put the opposition under pressure in lots of different ways. That doesn’t always mean hitting fours and sixes, it means can we push back when the opposition is on top or can we really take the initiative in different ways and that’s what we want to live by as a team. We know when we commit to that that gives us the best chance of positive results as I said earlier,” Buttler said.


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