England start another new era as Buttler bids to end India misery

By Sports Desk July 06, 2022

Jos Buttler's Twenty20 International squad may not share any players with Ben Stokes' Test side, but he will hope England can echo their early red-ball success in another new era.

No sooner had Stokes succeeded Joe Root as Test skipper than Eoin Morgan was also out as England's great limited-overs leader, retiring from international cricket altogether.

New man Buttler does not find a team in need of an overhaul, as Stokes did in the longest format, but he will similarly be keen to make a fast start.

And India – fresh from being thrashed by Stokes' outfit – are fearsome first opponents.

England have not won any of their four prior T20I series against India, losing the past three in a row. In fact, India have lost only one in 14 against all opponents.

And as Morgan's final 20-over series saw a 3-2 defeat to West Indies, England under Buttler will be aiming to avoid back-to-back such losses for the first time since February 2017.

Buttler may well have his work cut out, too, with England resting their Test stars following a busy stretch while India will welcome their main men back for the second of three matches.

Rohit Sharma has tested negative for coronavirus and been cleared to lead the team from the outset, with Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant among those set to join him later on.

England's depth put to the test

Buttler has confirmed his desire for Stokes to be involved with the T20I team, but the Test captain has plenty on his plate right now and – just as Buttler ruled himself out of red-ball action for the foreseeable future – is missing for this series.

He is one of a number of notable absentees against an India side who could be at full strength by the second match and ramping up preparations for the T20 World Cup – a daunting prospect.

But this also provides an opportunity for Buttler to see what talent lies beneath those big names; Richard Gleeson is in for a debut, while Reece Topley impressed on his return to the set-up in the Caribbean.

Topley's bowling economy rate of 4.4 during the powerplay in that series represents the second-best of any player from a Test-playing country since the start of 2020 (Ajaz Patel – 3.1 for New Zealand).

Another entertaining encounter?

With Matthew Mott leading England's white-ball teams, there will be no 'Bazball' in this series, but Morgan's side were always similarly entertaining.

In fact, England (146.3) and India (145.9) have the best batting strike rates of all Test-playing countries in T20Is since the beginning of 2020.

The likes of Buttler and Pant – identified by Stokes as "someone who would fit very well in our team at the moment" – should ensure there are plenty of big scores even without Jonny Bairstow.

Related items

  • Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak

    Laurent Courtois has accepted that it is on him to find a winning formula as CF Montreal look to snap their winless run against Toronto FC.

    Montreal were beaten 3-1 by Columbus Crew in midweek and are now without a victory in six games in all competitions.

    That includes a three-game losing streak in MLS, leaving them 13th in the Eastern Conference, and Courtois is eager to get back on track.

    "It's up to me to find the winning formulas and discern the phases of the game," head coach Courtois said after the loss to Columbus.

    "We have to grit our teeth and find solutions. The difficult times we are going through help me identify my group. I want to know the players better. 

    "From all the negative aspects we can observe, I can identify a few individual aspects to improve the game or the team itself."

    Monreal's rivals Toronto have themselves lost back-to-back games ahead of Saturday's Canadian Classique at BMO Field.

    Nashville SC scored twice late on to snatch a 2-0 win in the Reds' most recent match, but acting head coach Jason deVos admits there can be no excuses.

    "The last ten minutes, two mistakes cost us and that's the cruelty of football sometimes - that it's a 90-minute match and you need to put in a 90-minute performance in," he said. 

    "The players are aware of that. They know where the growth areas are for us as a team."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Toronto - Federico Bernardeschi

    Bernardeschi missed the loss to Nashville but will hope to start this weekend in a fixture he has fond memories of. 

    The Italian has scored in each of his two home games against Montreal, making him the third Toronto player to score in two successive home games against them after Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

    Montreal - Joel Waterman

    Montreal have conceded three or more goals five times across their 12 MLS games this season, which is tied with San Jose Earthquakes for the most in MLS.

    They quite simply need to sharpen up at the back, with Joel Waterman needing to step up and hope others around him also do so.. The centre-back led the way for interceptions (three) and clearances (four) against Columbus, yet it was still not enough.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Montreal have won five successive matches against Toronto, following a run of neither side ever winning more than three on the spin in this fixture.

    Toronto have won seven and drawn one of their eight matches in which they have held opponents under two goals since September, while they have lost all 13 in which they have shipped two or more.

    Keeping the opposition quiet is therefore key, and this could present a chance to do just that against a Montreal side with fewer points (five) than any side in MLS since mid-March.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Toronto - 39.6%
    Draw - 28.5%
    Montreal - 31.9%

  • Pooran stars as LSG condemn Mumbai Indians to last place with 18-run win Pooran stars as LSG condemn Mumbai Indians to last place with 18-run win

    Nicholas Pooran starred to help the Lucknow Super Giants close out a disappointing 2024 Indian Premier League season with an 18-run win over the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

    LSG piled up an imposing 214-6 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by Mumbai.

    Captain KL Rahul scored a 41-ball 55 to cap off an indifferent season with the bat by his standards before Pooran, who has been one of LSG’s standout players this season, scored a brilliant 75 off just 29 balls including five fours and eight sixes.

    Marcus Stoinis and Ayush Badoni also had solid contributions of 28 and 22*, respectively.

    Nuwan Thushara was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with 3-28 from his four overs while Piyush Chawla ended with 3-29 from his full quota.

    Despite 68 from skipper Rohit Sharma and 62* off just 28 balls from Naman Dhir, Mumbai fell short of their target reaching 196-6 at the end of their 20 overs.

    Sharma’s knock at the top of the order lasted 38 balls and included 10 fours and three sixes while Dhir hit four fours and five sixes in his innings.

    Ravi Bishnoi and Naveen-ul-Haq took 2-37 and 2-50 in their four over spells.

    This win means LSG will end the season sixth with 14 points from as many games while Mumbai, five-time champions, will finish last having recorded only four wins in their 14 games for eight points.

    Full scores:

    Lucknow Super Giants 214-6 off 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 75, KL Rahul 55, Nuwan Thushara 3-28, Piyush Chawla 3-29)

    Mumbai Indians 196-6 off 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 68, Naman Dhir 62*, Ravi Bishnoi 2-37, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-50)

     

  • Edwards to defend UFC Welterweight title in rematch against second-ranked Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 in Manchester Edwards to defend UFC Welterweight title in rematch against second-ranked Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 in Manchester

    Jamaican-born British Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards now has a date and an opponent for his next title defense.

    The 32-year-old will try to fend off number two-ranked Belal Muhammad in the main event at UFC 304 set for July 27 at the Co-op Live in Manchester, England.

    Edwards will enter the fight in the midst of a 12-fight unbeaten streak while Muhammad is unbeaten in his last 10 contests.

    The pair fought previously at UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas. That bout ended in a no contest after an accidental eye-poke by Edwards in the second of five rounds rendered Muhammad unable to continue.

    After than unfortunate fight, Edwards went on to defeat fan favorite Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in the main event at UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona on June 12, 2021.

    His next fight proved to be his crowning moment as he secured a spectacular head-kick knockout of Kamaru Usman to claim the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City on August 20, 2022.

    Heading into that fight, Usman was on a 20-fight win streak and was the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. The Nigerian also had a win over Edwards back in 2015.

    Edwards then went on to defeat Usman again, this time via unanimous decision, in their trilogy fight at UFC 286 in London on March 18, 2023 before defending his belt for the second time with another unanimous decision win over Colby Covington at UFC 296 on December 16 last year.

    Muhammad has also been on a tear since that eye-poke.The 35-year-old recorded unanimous decision victories over legends Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson at UFC 263 and UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukas, respectively, to close out 2021.

    He then secured a third consecutive unanimous decision win, this time beating Vicente Luque in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Muhammad 2 on April 16, 2022.

    At UFC 280 on October 22, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, Muhammad won performance of the night for his knockout win over Sean Brady and in his last fight, he defeated former title challenger Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision at UFC 288 on May 6, 2023 in New Jersey.

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.