Jos Buttler has no regrets about not taking more batting options after England’s lack of runs came back to pursue again as Bangladesh celebrated a T20 series win.
England refrained from calling up replacements for injured duo Tom Abell and Will Jacks ahead of those three games, leaving them with 13 players to choose from and a worn batting unit.
Buttler highlighted the absence of several players, including Alex Hales, Sam Billings and Liam Dawson, who had been granted special permission by England to prioritize the ongoing Pakistan Super League.
England were unmasked in Chattogram and now Dhaka, where they remade their top order but after six overs in a difficult 50-for-one spot slipped to 117 in a four-wicket loss.
However, Buttler thinks putting Moeen Ali and Sam Curran up in the rankings will give them a chance to adjust to the conditions they could face if England defend their 50-over world title in India this year .
“It’s a different balance and a different feel for the team,” said Buttler. “We especially wanted to showcase guys who, under these conditions, will probably also play a role in the 50-over World Championship.
“It felt like a great chance to show the punch of the all-rounders, maybe a place higher than our regular team.
“The way cricket is at the moment there are a couple of players who, for various reasons, chose not to be here so it felt like instead of calling someone else, trying to use the lads, exposed to these conditions would also include the 50-over World Championship.”
Buttler has a phenomenal record as an opening batter in T20s averaging 49.2 and a strike rate of 152.22 in 44 games, but chose to move up to fourth in the standings on Sunday.
That was because numbers three through six in the series opener were all left-handed, so Phil Salt and Dawid Malan’s right-left combination opened and when the latter fell, Moeen stepped out.
“We obviously have a number of lefties in our middle order, it was just an opportunity to change that up a bit,” Buttler said. “Try to separate our right-handers and left-handers.
“I’m very comfortable batting all over the order, I’ve also spent a hell of a lot of my career playing the middle order. I just felt like it would be an opportunity to try something different.
“An opportunity for Mo to break in at third place, something he successfully did for Chennai Super Kings (in the Indian Premier League). There are also some good strengths there.”
On the same ground that Mehidy Hasan Miraz picked up 12 match wickets to inspire Bangladesh to a first Test win over England seven years ago, the off-spinner clinched four for 12 in four superb overs.
Buttler accepted that England didn’t have enough on the board, despite an outstanding performance in the field led by Jofra Archer, who took three for 13 which seemed to give his side a glimmer of hope.
But with 13 12 balls needed, Chris Jordan, who threw the penultimate over and his first of the day, was sent off for three fours in five deliveries as Bangladesh won with 1.1 overs to go.
“We know the challenge here, you have to adapt and play well and we’re not miles away from that,” Buttler added.
“I thought it was an outstanding bowling feat on our part to go so deep and put pressure on Bangladesh to pursue those runs. The extra 10 or 15 runs would probably have been crucial in that game.”
England will now try not to suffer any whitewashing in their first T20 series since winning last year’s World Cup, although Mehidy hopes to deepen the tourists’ misery.
“There might be some (England) players resting so it’s a good opportunity for us and we’re really proud of this moment,” he said.