Root hails Buttler for calculating risks and manipulating spinners

Written by Vipin Darwade

England looked all but beaten when they stumbled to 117-5 in their pursuit of a 277-run target set by Pakistan at Old Trafford but captain Joe Root felt confident about his team’s battling qualities.

“We knew it would take something special but after last summer it is very hard to stop believing. It’s a real strong trait of ours,” he said.

Almost a year on from Ben Stokes’ heroic batting display to stun Australia in the 2019 Ashes at Headingley, Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes combined to deliver a counter-attacking display in a 139-run sixth-wicket stand.

Buttler (75) was trapped leg-before with 21 runs still required and the second new ball due, but Woakes (84) stuck it out, edging the winning boundary down to third man to seal a famous victory.

“It was a brilliant chase. I couldn’t be more proud of the lads,” Root said.

“Jos, it shows the mental strength, to play that situation and manage different passages of it, calculating risks, manipulating the spinner, brilliant innings, and Chris was magnificent too.

“The more important thing is we back it up again, and keep learning, but the clarity with which they played shows the maturity of the group too.”

With England losing four quick wickets after lunch, Woakes and Buttler had no choice but to reel in the target in one-day mode.

“It was good idea to take them on and put them under pressure,” Woakes said. “He is one of the best white-ball players in the world – one of best run-chasers – and he showed why today.

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Vipin Darwade