Highlights

  • We have not left ourselves any margin from this point on: Buttler
  • 'It certainly leaves us in a tough position. There is no room for error from hereon in'

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Jos Buttler admits its ‘incredibly difficult’ for England to make it to semis | ODI World Cup 2023

England were bundled out for an embarrassing 170 after South Africa posted a 400-run target in the World Cup game.

Jos Buttler admits its ‘incredibly difficult’ for England to make it to semis | ODI World Cup 2023

England captain Jos Buttler on Saturday conceded the loss to South Africa by 229 runs — their biggest in history of ODI cricket — leaves the reigning champions in a desperate race to qualify for the semifinals of the ongoing World Cup.

England were bundled out for an embarrassing 170 for nine with their number 11 not available to bat due to an injury, after South Africa posted a 400-run target in the World Cup game.

"A really tough defeat to take. Obviously, we were disappointed in Delhi (loss to the Afghanistan) and had a good few days and worked really hard and did a lot of things hoping to put it right today, but it did not work out,” Buttler told the media here after England’s biggest ODI loss ever.

Buttler agreed that it will be very difficult from this point to qualify for the semi-finals.

"It is going to be incredibly difficult. We have not left ourselves any margin from this point on. But we will keep the belief," he conceded.

"It certainly leaves us in a tough position. There is no room for error from hereon in. That is going to be incredibly tough, but we will sit down and go again. That is all you can do in this situation,” Buttler added.

South Africa hammered 143 runs in the last 10 overs whereas 84 came in the last 30 balls, which, according to Buttler, was too much to take.

"I think getting up to 400 was an excellent score, it sort of took the wind away from us and it was always going to be tough from there, we needed everything to go perfect to pull off a chase like that,” he said.

However, the England captain was confident that his team still has the belief to turn its fortunes around after succumbing to their second straight defeat in the last three matches.

"Some fantastic players (are) there (in the camp) and even though it is going to be a tough ask, there is still belief in the dressing room. You know, we would need everything to sort of go right to pull off a chase like that,” he said.

Buttler said the turning point of the game was the 151-run sixth-wicket partnership between Heinrich Klaasen and Marco Jansen, who took South Africa to a massive total of 399 for seven after England invited them to bat.

"I think that was the main bit of the game. We had them five down there, and if we could have found a way to break that partnership and take another wicket, you know, we could have looked like restricting them to 340 or 350, which probably would have been a really good chase on that pitch," he said.

The England captain also conceded that in hindsight, batting first would have been the right call after his team once again lost while batting second. Since January 2022, England have now lost seven out of 12 matches while chasing.

"You always reflect after games and sort of question your decisions. Certainly, with hindsight, the sort of physicality of that innings, potentially batting first would have been a better decision,” Buttler said.

The skipper defended his decision to field first on a batting belter.

"It is a decision I took at the time. I thought it was the right one and I still believe if we were chasing 340, 350, we would have done really well in those conditions." Buttler said with dismissals like Joe Root’s — caught at the leg-slip off a pacer while trying to get runs down the ground — could lead to a sinking feeling in the group.

"Getting things caught down the leg side, caught leg slip, those kinds of dismissals, it sort of feels like it's not going to be your day,” he said.

Buttler revealed that Adil Rashid was also battling sickness in the heat and humidity in the first half, which forced him to leave the field having completed his quota of 10 overs wherein he took 2/61.

"Rash (Adil Rashid) was struggling a little bit with the sickness before the game, but I felt like he could get out there and perform and (he) performed really well,” Buttler said.

"Reece (Topley) obviously took a nasty blow on his finger, which we will see how that is tomorrow." Buttler revealed that Heinrich Klaasen celebrated his century "in Mark Wood’s face" but was quick enough to realise his mistake and apologise at the same time.

"I think he was obviously emotional to score 100. I do not think he needed to celebrate in Mark Wood's face and credit to him, he recognised that a couple of seconds after and he apologised,” Buttler said.

"They played a great knock and I think he apologised straight away so there's no ill feelings there," he added.

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