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Buttler Knows Importance of Roy’s Return for England

Buttler Knows Importance of Roy’s Return for England
Buttler Knows Importance of Roy’s Return for England

Jason Roy will hand England a much-needed boost if he’s passed fit to face India as the hosts look to steady the nerves after successive defeats, according to vice-captain Jos Buttler.

Roy, who smashed 153 from 121 balls against Bangladesh earlier in the tournament, has not featured since pulling a hamstring against the West Indies two weeks ago.

The opener missed the win against Afghanistan and defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia, with James Vince taking his place, but he was back practising on Friday morning at Edgbaston.

“He looks pretty good. I think he has been progressing nicely so it is nice to see him back in the nets, back in the group and taking part,” said Buttler.

“I’m sure the medical team will know more than I do but he looks pretty good. He has been a very important player for us a long time.

“We know we can perform better as a group and Jason is a fantastic player to have available. It would be a boost to have him play.”

Sunday’s match is crucial to England’s campaign, with back-to-back defeats knocking them down to fourth in the table, just one point ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan.

However, a win for India would see them secure a semi-final place and they are full of confidence after usurping England as the world’s top ranked ODI side.

Lose here and the pressure will increase ahead of England’s final group game against New Zealand but Buttler is keeping a cool head.

“Expectation is something England sides have not always had. I have played in England sides where the expectations were very low,” he said.

“The mood in the camp is still very good. Naturally, there is some external pressure and it would be naïve to say we have got our blinkers on.

“We just have to accept those things. We know they are going to happen. We know the position we are in, nothing has changed. When we play our best cricket, we are in a position to win.

“We have the opportunity to put things right and everyone has turned up with a smile on their face.

“Everyone here wants us to do well and, being such a good side, when we don’t perform at our best, it is frustrating. But there has been lots of goodwill so there are good signs for me.”

Edgbaston is expected to be a sea of colour and a cauldron of noise on Sunday, with as many Indian fans as English ones expected to pack into the stands.

And Buttler has promised both teams will live up to expectations.

“This is the reason we play the game,” he added.

“We know, favourites or underdogs, that all these are hard matches – especially against India, who are brilliant. We know we need to play better and we are capable. We look forward to playing a strong India team.

“Pressure is privileged sometimes and we are in a very privileged position. These are the games we will look back on or look forward to at the start of your career and hope to be involved in.

“We know the support India will get. Wherever they go in the world it’s the same but we hope to have some great support as well. It is going to be a great game.”

© Cricket World 2019