England and Jos Buttler are brimming with confidence ahead of a home Champions Trophy campaign following last night’s comfortable victory over New Zealand in the third NatWest Series one-day international.
Alastair Cook’s side had not enjoyed the ideal preparatory rubber prior to the final encounter at Trent Bridge, having suffered heavy defeats at Lord’s and the Ageas Bowl.
Yet, buoyed by having fit-again Steven Finn and Stuart Broad back in the XI, England looked back to somewhere near their best in Nottingham and went some way to rekindling optimism ahead of a tournament they should have a good chance of winning.
While Finn and Broad were impressive, it was Buttler, pictured, who stole the show with a superb cameo of 47 from just 16 balls that took England to a total of 287 for six.
“It’s nice to contribute to a win and put in a performance that can give me some confidence ahead of the Champions Trophy,” admitted Buttler, for whom the innings represented his first of note in the ODI format. “It is (pretty special) and a great feeling when it comes off.”
Speaking about England’s chances in the much-anticipated final edition of the 50-over tournament, Buttler added: “That will give us some confidence going into that.
“We didn’t quite play our best cricket in the first two games, but it is great to get a win to give us some confidence. In home conditions, with home support, we’re very confident we can do well.”
The returns of Finn and Broad allowed England the luxury of resting James Anderson yesterday, but the prospect of all three bowling together again certainly whets the appetite for the challenges ahead.
The hosts managed to dismiss New Zealand for 253 - an effort that bodes well for when they have Anderson in the ranks too.
Speaking about having Finn and Broad back, skipper Cook said: “It was great that they pulled up well; they were probably a little rusty but it was great to have those experienced and high-quality players back.”