The margin of victory was enough for England to move from the bottom of the table, overtaking the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Net Run Rate (NRR). They can now qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy even if they are beaten by Pakistan at Eden Gardens on Sunday, a result that would ease the pressure on both Buttler and coach Matthew Mott.
Key, England’s general manager of men’s cricket, spent two weeks with the team at the start of the tournament and has now returned to India. He will join Buttler and Mott in Kolkata, where three ODIs and five T20Is against the West Indies will be on the agenda next month.
Buttler has been unable to pinpoint the causes of England’s problems in this World Cup and he himself has taken on a huge responsibility, having endured an abject tournament with the bat. He has managed 111 runs at an average of just 13.87 in eight innings, a sequence extended on Wednesday by a tame chip to mid-on for 5 off 11 balls.
But he confirmed his intention to continue as captain in both white-ball formats after England’s victory. “I would like [lead in the Caribbean]”Buttler said. “I know Rob Key is arriving in India today. We can have good conversations with him, the coach and everyone, and make a plan for that tour. But yes, I would like to.”
Buttler admitted he was “very frustrated” with his own form. “You want to lead from the front and do it in your own performance,” he said. “I will stick to what has served me well over a long period of time when I have had these little spells of form and hope to come out on the other side very soon.”
England are likely to make several changes to their ODI squad for the Caribbean tour. Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Will Jacks and Rehan Ahmed are among the young players expected to be part of a team that will closely resemble the one that beat Ireland 1-0 at the end of September.
The T20I team will be stronger as England will only play four more matches in the format before the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the US next June, where they will attempt to defend the title they won, under Buttler’s leadership and Mott. – in Australia last year.
Eoin Morgan, Buttler’s predecessor, described England as “a sinking ship” on Wednesday afternoon, but Buttler insisted the team “has stayed very united”. He said: “If you watched training yesterday, the lads probably trained as hard as they have throughout the trip, which shows the level of commitment and desire to put things right.
“It would be easy for us to diminish…credit to everyone for continuing to put in [effort] and show how much it means to play for England and the pride in our performance. Of course, the Champions Trophy is something we are very focused on and determined to make sure we are there.”