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T20 World Cup: Jos Buttler shrugs off rain concerns as England prepare for Ireland and Australia


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os Buttler insists he is not losing any sleep over the idea that rain could complicate England’s bid for T20 World Cup glory as they prepare for two crucial games in three days in La Nina-hit Melbourne.

Australia’s east coast is experiencing the weather phenomenon, which leads to cooler and damper conditions than usual, for the third year in a row and there is the potential for significant disruption to the tournament’s Super 12 stage.

South Africa’s opener against Zimbabwe in Hobart on Monday ended without a result because of persistent rain and the failure to take maximum points from the fixture could have significant consequences for the Proteas’ hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

England are already off to a winning start after a five-wicket triumph over Afghanistan on Saturday and now face Ireland at the MCG tomorrow before meeting hosts Australia at the same ground on Friday. The current forecast is for showers during both matches, with reduced-overs games a possibility, but the England skipper believes his in-form side are ready to adapt.

“The big key is to be able to react quickly to those kinds of things,” the Buttler said. “You have a little idea of things you might do if those kinds of things happen.

“But I don’t want to get too sort of preoccupied with what-ifs. I don’t want to spend all night staying awake thinking about what might happen, just try and react to it when it does happen.

“What’s great about the squad and our team is we’ve got lots of different options, and even in the same team you can ask people to fulfil different roles.

“That gives us a lot of options when situations change and change quickly – whether that’s rain or something, and then we can try and change tack quickly and adapt.”

England must decide whether to stick with the XI that downed Afghanistan or else rotate their bowling attack, with a tight turnaround before taking on Australia on Friday.

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Chris Woakes and, in particular, Mark Wood may need to be managed through the tournament having only recently returned from lengthy injury lay-offs. Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills and David Willey all offer further seam options but Buttler warned his side cannot afford to take the Irish lightly.

“In such a short tournament, in must-win games pretty much every time, what’s important is to try and put what we think is our best team on the park as many times as we can,” Buttler added.

“Anytime you take things for granted or you don’t respect the opposition is when you can get hurt.

“We expect a really tough game from everyone we play. We’re very much taking one game at a time, and we don’t expect Ireland to not bring their best cricket.”

Meanwhile, England this morning announced their 15-man squad for three-match ODI series against Australia that immediately follows the World Cup.

Opener Jason Roy is included ahead of Alex Hales having been dropped from the T20 squad, while there are recalls for Sam Billings and James Vince. Eleven of the squad are already with the England party in Australia but the likes of Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone and Mark Wood will not be involved ahead of the Test tour of Pakistan.

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