England cricket: will Jos Buttler’s form diminish with pressure of ODI captaincy?

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Jos Buttler has just been named as England’s new ODI captain.

Eoin Morgan took the decision to retire from international cricket after seven years as white-ball captain.

He left behind a legacy that has exceeded all expectations and one that has given England fans excitement, hope and fulfilment when watching their white-ball players.

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Not only was Morgan a World Cup winning captain - England Men’s first skipper to achieve the feat - and their leading ODI and T20 run-scorer of all time, but he’s also overseen a complete shift in his team’s ability to perform in white-ball cricket as well as winning the hearts and minds of cricket fans around the world.

Morgan has faced recent criticism due to his current form which has seen him underperform in England’s recent matches.

He suffered consecutive ducks in the first two matches against the Netherlands before being ruled out of the third with a knee injury.

Jos Buttler led the side as England closed a 3-0 whitewash over in Amsterdam and that success has now seen him take the reins on a permanent basis.

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The wicket-keeping batter extraordinaire seemed the most obvious choice to take over from Morgan and it will be intriguing to see how he fares in the new role.

However, will the extra responsibility ruin his current form? We take a look at Buttler’s suitability for the job, and whether there were better candidates availiable.

Jos Buttler

Having been subtly forced to take a step back from England’s Test side, Jos Buttler has been smashing 100s for fun in the white-ball format.

The Taunton-born star was the highest run-scorer in the Indian Premier League, scoring 863 runs - over two hundred more than anyone else.

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In his first ODI series over the 2022 year, Buttler then scored 162 not out for England, and another 86 not out to earn himself the Player of the Series award.

Buttler is known as one of the best white-ball batters in the world, hitting hard and scoring relentlessly.

Buttler stormed Amsterdam’s cricket ground with an unbeaten century and half centuryButtler stormed Amsterdam’s cricket ground with an unbeaten century and half century
Buttler stormed Amsterdam’s cricket ground with an unbeaten century and half century | Getty Images

He’s was the obvious candidate to take over Eoin Morgan’s role, but will this promotion risk hindering his carefree, often stunning batting?

It’s been seen on many occasions - the pressure of a captaincy takes hold and standards drop.

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Morgan himself being one such player whose own form dwindled as his captaincy continued.

While Buttler may be in the form of his life, it’s not an unlikely thought that this could suddenly tank, and the addition of taking on the captaincy of such a strident team could be just one step too far.

Additionally, when your best player becomes your captain, as was seen with England’s Test side when Joe Root was in charge, the rest of his squad can rest on the laurels of their captain and allow them to do all the work - a strategy that saw Root enjoy his best ever year of cricket, but England’s worst.

Moeen Ali

Would Ali have been a better shout?

The Warwickshire man was next on the list to take over from Eoin Morgan. He was another candidate who has enjoyed mixed success in the Test side but thrived in the white-ball format.

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Ali is the only English player to have won an Indian Premier League title and he contributed greatly to that win with both bat and ball.

The Birmingham based all-rounder has also had some captaincy experience, skippering England during their series in the West Indies in Morgan’s absence - a series which saw tremendous success - so who would have been better suited than someone who has already shown they can thrive in the role?

‘The Beard That’s Feared’ would surely have been a reliable leader for England’s ODI side, but at the age of 35, his chances of landing in the future are now slim to say the least.

Liam Livingstone

A more unlikely, yet no less worthy candidate for the captaincy.

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Livingstone was the shining star at last year’s inaugural The Hundred campaign, captaining his side Birmingham Phoenix to the final while also ending as the tournament’s top run-scorer.

He has then proved a vital component in England’s white-ball matches with both bat and ball, and his ability to bowl both leg and off spin has been a gift for his team.

Livingstone is one of the hardest hitting batters in the international circuit and his calm, level-headedness coupled with a bubbling fury and passion for winning could have been just the answer to England’s prayers.

Will the ECB live to regret going with Buttler? Or will he prove why his selection over Ali and Livingstone was the right call? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see...

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