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Jos Buttler: England captain says South Africa loss leaves 'no room for error' for remainder of World Cup – Sky Sports

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Defending champions England fell to their heaviest defeat in ODI cricket, losing by 229 runs to South Africa, to leave Jos Buttler’s men on the brink of elimination; watch continued coverage of the 2023 Cricket World Cup live on Sky Sports
By PA Sport
Sunday 22 October 2023 06:43, UK
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England captain Jos Buttler took his share of the blame for a historically bad defeat against South Africa, accepting he made a mistake by fielding first in the oppressive heat and humidity of Mumbai.
Things could hardly have gone worse for the defending champions, whose World Cup campaign is rapidly falling apart after three losses in four, the latest a 229-run defeat to the Proteas – England’s heaviest loss in terms of margin of runs.
South Africa 399-7 was also a record total conceded by England, with the bowling chaotic and expensive following Buttler’s decision at the toss to send the opposition in.
The temperature peaked at 36 degrees, exacerbated by high humidity, and Buttler said after the defeat: “I think you always reflect after games and question your decisions.
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“With hindsight, with the physicality of that innings, potentially batting first would have been a better decision.
“It’s 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.
“Physically it was a really demanding innings and, like I said, it makes you question maybe in those kind of conditions whether batting first may have been the right call at the toss.”
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Buttler has had to front up after a hat-trick of unimpressive outings so far, with a nine-wicket hammering by New Zealand and a shock defeat at the hands of unfancied Afghanistan already on the ledger.
On each occasion he has aimed for an unemotional assessment but accepts England are pretty much out of wriggle room, an awkward place to be with almost a month of travelling left and five group matches remaining.
“It certainly leaves us in a tough position. There’s no room for error from here on in,” Buttler acknowledged.
“It’s going to be incredibly difficult. We haven’t left ourselves any margin from this point in. But we’ll keep the belief. We’ll sit down and go again. That’s all you can do in this situation.
“I think it’s obvious that we’re not performing to our best. It’s my job as captain, along with the rest of the team, to work out how we can get back to playing that brand of cricket, playing to our potential and getting back to our best.
“It certainly won’t be anyone giving up or having those kind of thoughts. We’ll just have to dust ourselves down and stick our chests out and go again.”
The Cricket World Cup action continues with the clash of the two remaining undefeated teams as hosts India and New Zealand meet in Dharamshala on Sunday.
As for England, they next face Sri Lanka in a must-win matchup for both sides on Thursday in Bangalore. Both games are live on Sky Sports Cricket from 9am (first ball at 9.30am).
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