Openers remain a strong pillar for us quite for a long time: Jos Buttler

Ind vs Eng, 2nd ODI, England beats India: England skipper Jos Buttler credited openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy for the successful 337 run-chase in the second ODI against India here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

Ben Stokes’ swashbuckling 99 and in-form opener Jonny Bairstow’s 112-ball 124 saw England register a six-wicket win over India.

Chasing a mammoth target of 337, the visitors cruised home with 39 balls to spare as they levelled the three-match series 1-1. If the Indian batsmen stole the show in the afternoon, it was the turn of the English batters under lights to showcase some quality strokeplay. The decider will be played on Sunday.The foundation of every successful chase is a strong foundation and England had the best possible start as openers Jason Roy and Bairstow scripted a hundred-plus partnership for the first wicket.

“The way the guys came out and played, fantastically well and then the partnerships from the start made it a brilliant chase. Fantastic opening partnership again, they have been the pillar of our strength for a long period of time. They have been outstanding at the top of the order,” Buttler told host broadcaster Star Sports in the post-match presentation.

“Delighted for Jonny to go on and reach the three-figures today and it was a top knock. That partnership with Ben Stokes was thrilling to watch. As a fellow player and as a fan to watch the fashion that they played, some of the strokes they took and the commitment to play in that way … especially after the last game and some people talked about our way and we need to be started,” he added.Buttler further said that the side is committed to play their brand of cricket irrespective of the result.

“Of course, we need to play smart at times but we always want to commit to that fashion that we play and the brand of cricket that we play as a side that served us so well for so long. It is very important that we continue when the conditions are suitable,” he said.

The wicket-keeper also lauded the bowlers for restricting India to 336/6 despite the onslaught from Rishabh Pant (77 off 40 balls).“Delighted with the response of the guys. We put in a very good bowling performance to restrict India to that total. I am delighted that we continued to commit to the fashion we want to play our cricket. The guys in the middle overs did an exceptional job to restrict them at that stage when Rishabh Pant was going, that was a big wicket for us,” Buttler said.

“They (spinners) bowled well in tandem, they are great friends and they enjoy to bowl together. Adil has been a brilliant wicket-taker and a partnership-breaker for us and he got the prized wicket of Virat today. We played on some good wickets here in Pune, poised again with the ‘winner takes all’ game at the end. We’ll look forward to that on Sunday,” he added.


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