Jos Buttler has lauded Eoin Morgan as a white-ball “pioneer” after the England captain celebrated his 100th T20 international cap with a victory over India. Vice-captain Buttler was named man of the match for his T20I best 83 not out from 52 balls in a comfortable eight-wicket win, while fast bowler Mark Wood took 3-31 on his return to the side.
“He’s been a pioneer for English white-ball cricketers, he’s always been someone who has been ahead of the curve, I’d say alongside Kevin Pietersen,” Buttler said. “They were two guys I always looked to in white-balls teams who could do it a bit differently, take the game forward and be ahead of the curve. So, he was a pioneer as a player to start with and certainly as a captain and a leader.”
“He’s taken English white-ball cricket to a place it’s never been before and I think he’s done that in quite an incredible way. I know how much everyone enjoys playing for him and the environment that he’s created,” he added. “The group we have at the moment is as much fun to play in as ever and it’s a really good team. He’s been a huge driver of that, alongside a few others. He’s a selfless guy but I was trying to remind him that today really was about him and it’s no mean feat to achieve 100 caps.”
“I don’t know if [the discussion over where he should bat in T20s] will ever end, people seem to quite enjoy talking about it. I certainly feel the pressure of that sometimes,” Buttler continued. “We have lots of guys who would love to bat in that opening position. For most people, it’s probably the best place to bat in the game. Eoin is always very clear with every single player on what he expects from them and how much he backs them to do that job. At the moment he wants me to open the batting and he backs me 100 per cent so that gives me a lot of confidence.”