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Harry Brook backs captain Jos Buttler to end his batting slump as England seek to avoid a 12th ODI defeat this year against West Indies

  • Captain Jos Buttler has scored just 78 runs in his last eight innings for England 
  • Harry Brook hit 71 off 72 balls as England were beaten by West Indies on Sunday 
  • The second ODI takes place at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday

Harry Brook is backing Jos Buttler to clamber out of his winter batting slump and avert another crisis developing for England’s one-day side.

After failing to defend a 326-run target in the first match of this tour, Buttler’s side return to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Wednesday in the knowledge that defeat would not only see them concede the series to opponents that failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup but also take their number of losses for 2023 to 12, as many as they suffered in the three previous calendar years combined.

West Indies’ four-wicket win last Sunday was the 17th setback in 29 completed matches since Buttler took the armband from Eoin Morgan 18 months ago, while another failure to get into double figures took his paltry recent tally of runs to 78 in eight innings.

However, Brook countered: ‘I didn’t really experience what the culture was like when Morgs was captain, but I think this side has got a lot of confidence still. We’ve got some unbelievable players.

‘We’ve got a younger squad this trip now, but we’ve still got a leader who’s potentially England’s best ever white-ball player. Obviously, he’s gone through a bit of a lean patch recently but as we see with so many of the great players I’m sure he’ll come straight out of that and will be scoring runs freely soon.’

Harry Brook hit 71 off 72 balls as England were beaten by West Indies in Antigua on Sunday

Harry Brook hit 71 off 72 balls as England were beaten by West Indies in Antigua on Sunday

Captain Jos Buttler (above) has scored just 78 runs in his last eight innings for England

Captain Jos Buttler (above) has scored just 78 runs in his last eight innings for England

PROBABLE TEAMS

England: Salt, Jacks, Crawley, Duckett, Brook, Buttler (capt,wkt), Livingstone, Curran, Carse, Ahmed, Atkinson

West Indies: Athanaze, King, Carty, Hope (capt, wkt), Hetmyer, Rutherford, Shepherd, Cariah, Joseph, Motie, Thomas

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Brook did exactly that in the opening match, hitting 71 off 72 balls, after analysing the gameplans of India’s Virat Kohli and Heinrich Klaasen, of South Africa, at the recent World Cup and trying to amalgamating elements of both into his own batting style.

The Yorkshire batter got the tempo just about right, but rued being dismissed nine overs from the end, saying: ‘I felt like I was sat up on the balcony watching for about three hours after that. There’s so much more time in an innings than you actually think.’

Game two of three, a day-nighter, will be played on a fresh pitch, after West Indies defied the slow nature of the first by completing their second highest chase in ODIs.

‘It most definitely gives us confidence for the rest of the series. The way we started with the bat – putting on 100 without loss – is a statement,’ said Windies captain Shai Hope.

‘To see the guys come out with intent like that, I see progress, but we need to repeat it next time.’

England must now prepare for their upcoming day-nighter and overcoming the West Indies on a fresh pitch

England must now prepare for their upcoming day-nighter and overcoming the West Indies on a fresh pitch

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