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Buttler defends toss decision after England’s title defence evaporates

England’s attempt to defend their T20 World Cup title faltered with a heavy 68-run defeat in the second semi-final. Despite this outcome, captain Jos Buttler refused to attribute the loss to his decision to field first against India.

The match was delayed due to rain and a wet outfield, prompting Buttler to opt for fielding after winning the toss. He believed chasing a target would be more comfortable, particularly with the uncertain weather conditions at Providence Stadium in Guyana. His decision was welcomed by India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, who capitalized on the slow pitch to lead his team to a solid total of 171-7, the highest of the match.

Reflecting on the match during the post-match presentation, Buttler acknowledged India’s superiority, stating, “With the rain around, we didn’t expect the conditions to change and they didn’t – they simply outplayed us and set a very good score.” He dismissed the notion that the toss had a decisive impact on the outcome.

Buttler felt England conceded 20-25 runs more than they should have on a challenging pitch, which ultimately allowed India to dominate. England’s top order collapsed early, stumbling to 49-5, and they couldn’t recover against India’s spinners, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, who claimed three wickets each.

In hindsight, Buttler admitted they should have utilized off-spinner Moeen Ali more effectively on a track supportive of spin. “Our two spinners bowled well, but looking back, we probably should have introduced Moeen earlier considering how spin was playing in our innings,” he remarked.

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, credited his team’s adaptability to the difficult pitch conditions. “I thought we adapted well to the conditions,” he said. Initially targeting a competitive score of around 140-150, India adjusted their approach as the innings progressed. “At one stage we thought 140 or 150 would be competitive. Then we said 25 runs more,” Rohit added, emphasizing the flexibility in their batting strategy.

Rohit praised the bowling effort that followed, describing 170 as a very good score and commending his bowlers for their performance.

India, now set to face South Africa in the final, will clash with another unbeaten team in a highly anticipated showdown in Bridgetown on Saturday.

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