The host nation and No. 1 ODI side in the world for much of the last two years will head to Edgbaston next week for their ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final against either Australia or India
Chester-le-Street (Durham): England have had to dig very deep just to get to the semi-finals – but Jos Buttler knows the real World Cup starts now.
After a mid-tournament defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia, England came out swinging to make the final four.
Also read: England beat New Zealand to reach semis
And back-to-back wins over India and New Zealand – the latter coming on Wednesday (July 3) in Durham – put them into the last four of the ICC World Cup 2019.
The host nation and No. 1 ODI side in the world for much of the last two years will head to Edgbaston next week for their semi-final against either Australia or India.
And vice-captain Buttler knows that the time is now, after becoming the first England men’s team to make the semi-finals since 1992.
Also read: How Pakistan can reach World Cup semis
“It feels great. We’re excited, and have a bit of relief as well,” he said.
“It’s obviously been two tough games to finish to qualify, and we showed great character to come through with two very good performances.
“We are just very excited to be in a semi-final. From the start I think it was the minimum requirement, the first stage we had to get to.
“We have given ourselves a great chance and are excited to play in the semi-final of a home World Cup. It’s a great feeling and we’re really excited for that challenge.”
Buttler’s form with the bat has slowed somewhat since his century against Pakistan at Trent Bridge four weeks ago
But at Chester-le-Street he influenced the game in other ways, taking a stunning catch down the leg side to dismiss Martin Guptill and also showing some quick thinking and hands to run out Ross Taylor from Adil Rashid’s throw.
And the 28-year-old vice-captain is hoping he can come good again on the biggest stage of all.
He added: “We stood up and played our brand of cricket under that pressure.
“That breeds a lot of confidence for the group, that our way is the best way and gives us a lot of chance of performing. That’s what we have resorted to in the two must-win games and shows that we must continue that.
“I’ve been a bit disappointed not to have contributed as much as I’d like, I haven’t quite executed or made the right decision and have found ways of getting out. Luckily I still have another chance for another innings or two in the World Cup.
“For the country, it’s very exciting that we are in a semi-final and we have had some fantastic support all the way through the tournament. We are very excited for the atmosphere for a semi-final in a home World Cup.”
Last Updated 2:47 PM IST