Ind vs Eng: The score was very manageable, just needed the ownership, says Buttler

England skipper Jos Buttler said that the 337-run target was “very manageable” for them but they lacked “ownership” in the series decider clash here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday.

Sam Curran’s unbeaten knock of 95 runs went in vain as a spirited bowling performance by India helped the hosts to defeat England by seven runs in the third and final ODI.

With this win, India have clinched the three-match series 2-1. Virat Kohli-led side won all the series’ in this England’s tour of India. India clinched the four-match Test series 3-1 and then went onto win the five-match T20I series 3-2.

“We were happy to chase that score. We have seen in the last few games that it is an excellent wicket and a tough ground to defend. We thought they got a manageable score, we lost wickets at regular intervals and never got those big partnerships together that we want to. We never thought that run-rate is gonna be a big issue but we lost some wickets, some important dismissals really as well, and then it took a fantastic effort from Sam Curran to take us as close as we can. Everybody is proud of him for that,” Buttler said in a virtual press conference after the game.

“Chasing big scores like that, you are looking for someone to go and make 80-100 giving match-defining contribution. Obviously, Sam Curran did that. We knew that score is very manageable and just needed the ownership. Couple of guys did go on and make that starts into big scores,” he added.

Buttler further lauded England’s batting strength and said a lot of their bowlers are very accomplished batsmen.

“Absolutely, the big part of our success that we had as a side over the last few years is that all our bowlers are able to bat. Sometimes, Adil Rashid gets to bat at 10 who has got 10 or 11 first-class hundred. That has been a huge part of us as a side and a never-say-die attitude takes the game deeper. A lot of our bowlers are very accomplished batsmen as well. We take a lot of encouragement with that,” the wicket-keeper said.

When asked about the takeaways from this tour after losing the series across all formats Buttler said, “We have come here wanting to win matches and to win series in the must-win games at the end of the T20Is and ODIs. We haven’t quite managed to do that. Of course, we are disappointed with that. Great learning to take from the tour, great exposure to players playing in this part of the world first time. Once you get expanding the talent pool available to us in the ODI cricket building ahead to the T20World Cup in a few months time and the 2023 World Cup later on down the line here as well.

“Anytime we expand our players’ pool that creates competition, that creates better performances and that’s the upward trajectory that we are always after, as a side, that continues up to improve,” he added.

Earlier, India’s batting unit displayed a change of approach in the third ODI and this ensured that despite losing wickets at regular intervals, the hosts posted a total of 329.

Pant (78), Pandya (64), and Shikhar Dhawan (67) registered 50-plus scores as India set a 330-run target for the visitors. The Virat Kohli-led side then restricted England to 322/9 to win the match and the series.

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