Lancashire's Buttler serves up series success for England
Eoin Morgan hailed Jos Buttler's role in the series-clinching victory over Australia and declared England's performance the best of his captaincy.
The Lancashire man was the star attraction with a middle-order masterclass of 100 not out in 83 balls but Morgan was delighted with the entire tenor of his team’s 16-run success.
Having initially struggled on a tricky SCG surface England held their nerve to post 302-6, Chris Woakes’ unbeaten 53 providing a brilliant foil for Buttler as the pair piled on 102 in the last 10 overs.
They then overcame an injury to Liam Plunkett which deprived them of a key bowler and left Joe Root filling in for almost nine overs.
“I’m so proud of everyone in the team,” said Morgan, whose side claimed a 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
“It was, I think, our best performance as a group to date, definitely throughout the last two years.
“Throughout the game there were a lot of questions asked of us.
“It was a bit of a catfight for quite a stage and Jos anchored the innings until about the 40th over and then really did pull the trigger.
“To have a guy with his capabilities and talent in our team, we are very privileged.
“We have seen him do that before but against one of the best sides in the world it is great to watch. It was a huge contribution.”
Morgan’s leadership was tested when Plunkett left the field with a hamstring problem having bowled just eight balls, but he found a willing stand-in in Root and saw Woakes and Mark Wood shoulder the seam burden.
“Liam going down (meant) somebody else stepping up,” he said.
“As a group, bowling unit and fielding unit, we did give a lot more than we normally do.”
Buttler echoed his skipper and admitted his partnership with Woakes took England well beyond their most optimistic total.
“It was very special. One of the best wins we’ve ever had,” he said.
“We were thinking 270 or 280. Jonny Bairstow came back into the dressing room after he got out and said that 270 would be a really competitive score, so we were just trying to work towards that and give ourselves three overs to really take it on.”