November 10, 2022
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Semi-Final Post Match Media Conference
England 170/0, India 168/6
Q. Jos, you must be delighted; that was as close to a complete performance as you're ever likely to see.
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously immensely proud of the guys. That was a brilliant performance, by far our best performance in the tournament. To do it on a day like today in such a high-pressure game is immensely satisfying.
Q. To do it against a side like India, to captain the side to a win, yourself and Alex, how did you feel out there?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, great. Obviously we know we got off to a really good start. We kept the pressure on them. I think Adil Rashid has done at No. 11 today, so an incredibly long batting lineup, which allows you to just keep going and play with so much freedom, and I think that was a big part of the day.
Q. There was a little bit of scrutiny when Alex came back into the side, but in the last three matches he's really delivered when it's mattered most.
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, absolutely. He's delivered in spades. He's immensely tough to bowl at. It was fantastic to be at the other end and watch him go about his business, such a wide range of shots, and the dimensions of the ground, he played them fantastically well.
Q. Where did that performance come from, because you guys, obviously you've had a bit of a stop-start tournament. Is it just the fact that you're a team who rise to the big occasion, it brings the best out of you?
JOS BUTTLER: I think we're a good team. I think that's probably where the performance comes from. Some brilliant players in your team. When they play their best, we're a tough team to beat. Incredibly dangerous side, huge confidence in the group. We haven't points played as well as we could do in the tournament, yet still find ourselves in a semifinal of a World Cup and saved our best performance so far for today.
Q. What does it mean for you as captain and also I guess the group as a whole to get to another World Cup final and have that chance at winning another major trophy?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, it's great. Again, as I spoke before the game, it's sort of that justification of the change in white ball cricket in England and the way we've developed players and that level of expectation that we have as a group at the minute.
I don't think we came to the tournament as anywhere near favourites. I know I've said that a lot at the start, but I thought we are a really dangerous team. I think the time we had in Pakistan, it was great for the group. We played well against Australia leading into the tournament, and I thought we sort of were building some nice momentum as a team. Obviously to make it into a final is fantastic, and we'll be doing all we can to try and win the match.
Q. Something you alluded to before the game talking about memories here at Adelaide, did that kind of feed into the celebration at the end there, just how convincing it was?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, it was a little bit different, wasn't it, to seven years ago. Yeah, it was just a fantastic performance, I think, and coming up against such a formidable team as India, they're so well supported, of course. I thought we had some great support in the ground, as well, today, which really satisfied that we had that, as well.
I think yeah, such a good team performance. I thought the bowlers were outstanding. Adil Rashid I thought had his best day for a while. He was so tough to play. I thought he looked like getting a wicket every over. I thought he was outstanding, and special mention I would say as well to Chris Jordan, to come into such a high-pressure game not having played so far in the tournament, and I asked a huge amount of him there to bowl three overs straight through at the death against such a great hitter of the ball like Hardik Pandya. That's a hell of a performance from Chris Jordan.
Q. You just touched on the crowd. Obviously huge support for India and extremely noisy every time they hit a boundary. Were you quite mindful of trying to dampen down that noise which you managed to do successfully when you were batting, and when you can see maybe Hardik trying to G-up the crowd to inspire them, does that give you a bit of satisfaction that things are going -- that you're doing a good job?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, absolutely. If he goes to try and get the crowd behind you, that's telling you that you're doing well. I think we have quite a lot of IPL experience in our team, as well, which certainly situations like tonight don't surprise you. We've played in India a lot, understand the noise that comes with the fans of Indian cricket, especially when sort of certain guys walk on to the field or when they're batting and the impact they can have.
But having had so much experience as a team playing in the IPL, I don't think it's as much of a factor anymore.
Q. Where does that rank among the great white ball performances for England?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, I think it's a brilliant performance. To play so well in a semifinal of a World Cup is great. Don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves and sort of pat ourselves too much on the back for tonight. We're obviously into a final which we're really looking forward to. We enjoyed the game this evening, and we can talk about it in the changing rooms and enjoy that performance, but I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves.
We've come up against a Pakistan team in read-up form in a final of a World Cup, and again, that's going to be such an amazing occasion, one we'll go and enjoy as much as we can and express ourselves and try and show off our talent.
Q. Would it be one of the best you've played in, best games you've played in for England?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think every game you play it's a great honour. I think, yeah, to play against India, as I've said, in this kind of environment in a fantastic cricket stadium, absolutely, it's immensely satisfying.
Q. It felt quite similar to the Australia semifinal in 2019; is that fair?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, yeah, probably. That was, again, a fantastic performance. But just shows we've got some brilliant players in our team. We've got huge depth in the country in white ball cricket, and when you've got such great players, that allows you to be able to put in brilliant performances.
Q. We've seen for most of the tournament is it seems to have been if you win the toss you bat first, and that 160 is a great score, normally wins a match. You seemed quite happy about the pitch in advance. Did you always think there were a lot more runs there?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, absolutely. I think the way they played in the back 10 overs they scored heavily in that period, which I think showed what a good wicket it was. The dimensions can be tough to defend, as well. So yeah, I was confident in the wicket.
I thought the first 12, 14 overs of our bowling innings was outstanding. I think taking that early wicket, the way we set them back, the way we held them put a lot of pressure. Fantastic innings from Hardik Pandya to get them up to that score.
But no, I was confident to chase today. I said, again, before the game, par scores don't interest me that much. It's about winning on the day. I think there's a sort of stat, as well, saying if you win the toss here, no one has won the game, so I was glad to try and change that one. Yeah, didn't really have huge feelings either way about the toss, but my gut was saying we'd like to chase.
Q. 80 for 3 after 13, the foundations for the victory were set, weren't they? The bowlers did a great job in those first 13 overs.
JOS BUTTLER: They did, absolutely. The bowlers were outstanding. Hit good lengths. We got the ball to move at the start, and to take a wicket early in that powerplay was fantastic.
Yeah, I thought Adil Rashid sort of let that attack fantastically well today. I thought he bowled with great control. He looked like taking a wicket I thought every over. He obviously got the big wicket Suryakumar Yadav, as well.
As I said, special mention to Chris Jordan to bowl those three straight through at the end. Interesting, looking at death bowling figures, it may have looked like he's gone 10 an over today, but he's probably performed above the level of what the expectation is to go at the death there. That's an immense effort, as well, first game of the tournament.
Q. Did the pitch change at all?
JOS BUTTLER: I don't think so really. Obviously there was a little bit of spin in the wicket when you drove it into the surface, but I thought it was a good wicket. The groundsman was telling me before the game it was a good wicket, and glad to trust him.
Q. There was a lot of talk about this being a used surface, and immediately, oh, used surface, Asian team has an advantage. Correct me if I'm wrong, especially in white ball, with Adil Rashid, as you said, a world-class spinner and you know you can shut down India's top three if it's turning, doesn't that suit England more than India?
JOS BUTTLER: No, I think it suits both teams. I thought the wicket was good. If a team can score 170 for none, it's a good pitch. Adil Rashid bowled brilliantly today. He was outstanding. His performance was great.
No, I think we have great options in our team. We've got a lot of allrounders who all offer something different, Liam Livingstone able to bowl leg spin and off spin, Moeen Ali didn't bowl today but should certain match-ups have prevailed, he would have bowled and been very effective on the surface, as well.
Q. I know you spoke before the match about the different dimensions of different grounds here and what that meant in adapting to them, and it was something the bowlers did very well in defending those short boundaries, and then you're exploiting them. Wonder how much credit you give to the time that players like yourself and Alex Hales and all the others have spent out here playing in the Big Bash.
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, it helps, obviously. I think Alex would have played as much Big Bash cricket as anyone, and his performance tonight was amazing. I think it's some huge strengths of his, square of the wicket, which obviously today on this kind of grounds really is great. No, he's a tough guy to bowl at. He's been obviously performing really well for a long period of time. Unfortunately hasn't been able to get back in due to other players playing brilliantly well, as well. A few circumstances and that opportunity has arisen, and he's come in, and the last three matches especially, his form has been brilliant, and he was great to just tuck in behind tonight and bat at the other end.
Q. Just looking ahead to the weekend, after a big performance like that, how do you then take it up another notch for a final against a Pakistan side that also got there quite convincingly?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, I think the occasion will do that quite naturally. I think it's important we enjoy the performance this evening, but of course don't get too far ahead of ourselves. There's still the biggest game of the tournament still to come. But it's going to be an amazing occasion. Talking about semifinals, these kind of things you want to be involved in in your career; you don't come down very often. So it's certainly something to be relished, to be enjoyed, and just encourage us to play with the same freedom, win, lose, draw, that we showed tonight.
Q. Just wanted to ask you about you working with Adil Rashid. He'd been challenged a few times in recent times, but I guess that captain-spin bowler relationship and I suppose the understanding and the faith you've developed with each other, for him to come out and perform like that after some previous challenges?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, he's been brilliant for a long, long period of time. I've worked with him a lot. I have a great seat to watch him go about his business. He bowls with so much variation, and he's got as much variety as anyone really.
I think he's been bowling really well actually. I think he may not have picked up the wickets that he usually does, and certainly from the outside some people said he wasn't bowling as well, but certainly from within the group, you come and face him in the nets, he's been bowling well.
Tonight he was exceptional. I think wicketkeeper, bowler, we have a good relationship. Obviously he's very close to Moeen, and they work together a lot on their spin bowling.
I've thought the way they've worked and the way they've communicated about what's working on the wicket and what looks good -- obviously Moeen stood at slip a bit as well tonight, so that communication was perfect. He bowled the right style today.
Q. On Wood and Malan, how close were they to playing today, and do you expect they'll be fit for Sunday night?
JOS BUTTLER: We'll wait and see. They weren't at a level of fitness that they could have performed as they would have wanted to in the game, so that just was never an option today. Obviously getting through to the final gives them a few more days, and we can see how they pull up and hopefully progress to be available for selection come the final.
Q. Brilliant cricket, but you kept your promise that you'll spoil the party for India-Pakistan. How would you say that?
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, I think certainly there was a few people wanting that final, of course, but certainly for us, we're desperate to get there. We wanted to -- like I said, spoil that party, and I'm sure there's -- having seen the first game of the tournament between India and Pakistan, there's a lot of people that would have loved to have seen another edition of that, but they'll have to wait for another time.
Q. Were you surprised the way Indian openers, the way we started the innings, as you rightly said it's not that bad wicket where you have to take some time and then you have to play your shots. Was that making your bowlers think easier, the way Indian openers especially started the innings?
JOS BUTTLER: I think give credit to our bowlers. I thought the bowlers bowled exceptionally well. To take a wicket in the second over adds pressure on to the opposition. There's one reason we wanted to chase today, as well, because we weren't sure exactly sort of what would be a good score and sort of being under pressure to post a score or know exactly how hard to go, when to do that, that was one of the benefits I thought of chasing today.
But no, I thought we bowled really well, and that put them under pressure and we didn't give them opportunities to score.
Q. Now you're through to the final, there's a fair bit of chat back home that it might be also showing on free-to-air TV just like 2019. I wondered if that was something you'd be happy with.
JOS BUTTLER: Yeah, I'd be immensely happy with that. That would be fantastic for the game in our country. As many eyes as we can get on that final would be great. That would be brilliant if that happens. It's important that we always look for ways to grow our game and showcase cricket to the next generation especially. Yeah, would really welcome that if that was possible.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports