PERTH: Skipper Jos Buttler on Friday hailed a new era for England and warned that his “dangerous” team were “very ready” for their title charge at the T20 World Cup 2022.
England, who along with hosts and holders Australia are the favourites, begin their campaign on Saturday against Afghanistan in Perth.
Buttler succeeded Eoin Morgan as England´s white-ball captain in June and led his team to a 2-0 T20 series win over Australia and a victory over Pakistan leading up to the World Cup.
“We are in a good spot. We have had really good games in the last 10 matches and played some really good cricket,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said, striking a buoyant tone.
“On the eve of the tournament we are very ready.”
Despite England´s ominous form, including a series win in Pakistan, the 32-year-old Buttler dismissed the favourites tag.
“No, far from it, to be honest. I think we are a dangerous team, we have got a lot of talented players who can win games on their own and that´s a huge thing in T20 cricket,” he said.
“If you had to choose one (favourite) then it has to be Australia in their own conditions and being reigning champions.”
England, who won the T20 title in 2010, lost fast bowler Reece Topley to an ankle injury with Tymal Mills coming in as replacement this week.
Buttler leads the batting charge alongside Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali. On the bowling front, David Willey and Sam Curran are in good nick.
“I mentioned it to the players a lot but this is very much a new era for the English white-ball team,” said Buttler.
“A lot of them played in the past era but it´s very much about looking forward now for this group.
“Not to spend too much energy looking backwards. I think it´s really important to be that forward-facing sort of team talking about the future a lot, and that starts with tomorrow.”
England missed out on the final in the United Arab Emirates last year after they went down to New Zealand in the semi-finals and Buttler said the shortest format of cricket was “ruthless”.
“Only just how ruthless the format is and how much importance there is on every single game,” Buttler said, reflecting on what they had learnt from last year´s World Cup.
England start this time against Afghanistan and are also in a group with Australia and last year´s beaten finalists New Zealand.
Asian champions Sri Lanka are also in there after making it through the opening round. The group is the harder of the two in the Super 12 stage.
“South Africa didn´t go through from our group having won four out of five games (last year) so it´s a really tough format,” said Buttler.
“It´s incredibly competitive and we know that, we expect that.”
Afghanistan, led by Mohammad Nabi, will be no pushovers after they put up a strong showing in the recent Asia Cup in the UAE.
The giant-killers stunned eventual champions Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and only missed out on a final spot after going down to Pakistan in a last-over thriller.
Coach Jonathan Trott said that being more consistent will take the Afghans a long way.
“I hope we are still seen as a dangerous side but a side that´s more consistent in taking competitions and getting to the next phases,” the former England batsman told reporters.
“Not just here to participate, but here to win matches and that´s an exciting place to be when you have that mentality. Also to know in that changing room you have got players who can do that.”