Buttler keen to captain England again

Wicketkeeper-batsman led the side in the second ODI against Australia in Morgan absence

Buttler keen to captain England again PHOTO: AFP

Jos Buttler will have no qualms about captaining England again should he be asked to lead the side when they seek a series-clinching win over Australia at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

The wicket-keeper found himself unexpectedly thrust into the role when regular one-day international skipper Eoin Morgan pulled out shortly before the start of Saturday's second one-day international in Cardiff.

The extra responsibility did not appear to inhibit Buttler, who struck a typically blistering 91 not out in a total of 342 for eight that also featured a century from Jason Roy.

He then led the side from behind the stumps in the field as England won by 38 runs to go 2-0 up in a five-match series.

Buttler, reflecting on captaining England at Sophia Gardens, said: "I enjoyed it. It's a bit more stressful going through lots of decisions, (and) the buck stops with you. As vice-captain you can suggest a few (ideas), and hide behind that."

Buttler previously led England during a series win in Bangladesh in October 2016 when Morgan refused to tour because of security concerns.

Buttler said the burden of captaining England, the world's top-ranked ODI side, was eased by the fact the team contained several experienced players.

"The guys know what they're doing," he explained. "It's a very good side to captain. At times it captains itself, with defined roles for the players and a lot of experience in the group."

There is a theory that the job of being a wicketkeeper demands so much concentration it leaves little spare capacity for the additional cares of leadership.

But both England and Australia were led by keepers on Saturday, with Tim Paine now the tourists' full-time Test and ODI skipper after Steve Smith was given a year-long ban for his role in March's ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

"I don't think it's impossible to do so," said Buttler. "Lots of captains have been wicket-keepers as well. You've got a pretty good position to see what's happening and what's going on, so I don't think it's a problem."

Shaun Marsh scored a fine century to give Australia, the reigning world champions, hope of an improbable win on Saturday until leg-spinner Adil Rashid and fast bowler Liam Plunkett took late wickets to seal 2019 World Cup hosts England's victory.

"There's a World Cup round the corner, so we need to keep polishing up in those areas we can improve," said Buttler. "It's very important for us to continue to show why we got ourselves to number one in the world. But we've got to keep going game by game, and not get ahead of ourselves or complacent."

England are set to issue an update on Morgan's fitness, and that of sidelined all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, on Monday.

Stokes and Woakes were both ruled out of the early part of the Australia series, but the indications are that Woakes's thigh problem may be more severe than Stokes's torn hamstring.