Jos Buttler admits he knows his best side ahead of England’s ODI World Cup defence this autumn, but urges fringe players to stake their claim during Bangladesh tour
- The first ODI against Bangladesh begins in the early hours of Wednesday
- Ben Stokes, who has retired from ODI cricket, could still play at the World Cup
- The three-match series is England’s last one-day game until September 2023
Jos Buttler already knows his preferred XI for this autumn’s World Cup title defence but says conditions in Bangladesh provide an ideal platform for others to stake claims for back-up places.
It is a sign of the madness of international scheduling that the three-match series begins here just 24 hours after the second Test in Wellington is due to conclude, and yet is the final one before England select their squad for the tournament in India.
Buttler’s side do not play again until hosting New Zealand and Ireland in September.
He said: ‘It’s a nice point to work back from — what you perceive your best team to be. I have a pretty good idea of what I’d like it to look like but that’s always going to be up for change.
‘There could be injuries or lack of form, so you have to be planning for all eventualities and a lot of the time you prepare for the worst-case scenario.’
England captain Jos Buttler has suggested he knows his best XI ahead of the World Cup
It’s possible Ben Stokes could play in the tournament despite having retired from the format
The team in Buttler’s head no doubt includes Test captain Ben Stokes, despite the fact a one-day retirement reversal is yet to take place, as well as Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Harry Brook — all of whom are absent for a rearranged tour that was postponed during the pandemic.
The batting depth will therefore be under scrutiny. Will Jacks will complete a hat-trick of debuts across all formats this winter, having been parachuted in from Test duty to replace the injured Tom Abell, in conditions that Buttler reckons represent ‘as good a preparation as we will get for the World Cup’.
But neither side is well practised — England batsmen Jason Roy and James Vince only flew in from the Pakistan Super League on Monday, while Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan returned from the US, where he was attending to a family matter.
The first match begins at 6am on Tuesday and looks set to be screened on Sky Sports after a last-minute, ECB-subsidised deal with the broadcaster was last night due to be signed off.
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