England white-ball captain Jos Buttler has urged his players not to live in the past and to stay true to what they believe in after falling to a T20 series defeat to South Africa.
Buttler’s side claimed an eye-catching victory in the opener in Bristol but defeats in Cardiff and then in Southampton on Sunday ensured their search for a first series win under the new skipper goes on.
Adapting to the retirement of legendary captain Eoin Morgan was never going to be easy and the Three Lions still have time to turn things around ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year – with 10 T20s still to be played before their tournament opener.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Buttler issued a rallying cry to his players and labelled Sunday’s 90-run defeat to South Africa “a reality check”.
He said: “We haven’t played our best cricket by a long stretch and I don’t think we have been able to impose ourselves.
“We can’t live in the past and pat ourselves on the backs for the changes that have been made in English cricket and the successes we have had.
“It’s about looking forward, trying to chase the best teams in the world and being at the forefront of that.”
England were dismissed for 101 at the Ageas Bowl in a batting display that drew some frustrated chants from the home crowd.
On the reaction of supporters, Buttler added: “You don’t want to overreact to situations but you could sense the frustration around the ground with the ‘get on with it, England’ chants.
“You don’t want to be associated with that. It is the first time I have heard that for a very long time, so that frustration around the group shows we weren’t managing to put on the show we want to put on.
“You can cope with losing but you want to make sure you stay true to what you believe in and I think we fell well short with the way we played.
“The disappointing thing was the way we went down. We lacked intent and confidence and didn’t put the opposition under pressure. We never managed to fire shots and wrestle the initiative.
“I think that bit of timidness is probably the thing we are frustrated with most. We want to be a team that wants to be brave and take risks.
“We have to work out where that lack of consistency comes from. Whether it’s over-confidence or lack of confidence, we have not been able to back up performances. As individuals and as a team we have not played our best.
“The first place I would look is myself. I want to lead from the front as captain and I know I haven’t performed at the level I would like to.”
The focus will now switch back to the red-ball game ahead of England’s three-match Test series with South Africa, which gets underway on the 17th of August.