Eoin Morgan hailed new dad Jos Buttler for hitting new heights with his match-winning 110 not out against Pakistan.
England edged out Pakistan by 12 runs in the second one-day international at Southampton, with Buttler’s 50-ball century the epitome of improvised, aggressive stroke play.
Buttler and wife Louise recently celebrated the arrival of their first child, daughter Georgia Rose, and the 28-year-old toasted his century with the classic baby-rocking gesture.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur admitted the tourists had no answers to Buttler’s brutal hitting, while England skipper Morgan believes the Taunton-born star just keeps getting better and better.
Asked if Buttler had scaled new levels with his stunning knock, Morgan said: “I think so.
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“When he plays innings like that, and they seem to be grouped closer and closer together, it means we’re very fortunate to have him in our side.”
Buttler and Morgan posted a 162-run stand as England struck 373 for three in the second ODI against Pakistan.
Former Pakistan Navy officer Fakhar Zaman blasted 138 in 106 balls only to be dismissed on review, Chris Woakes’ out-swinger catching the toe of his bat for Buttler to hold behind.
David Willey and Liam Plunkett then ground England home despite a fine run chase that proved in vain from Pakistan.
England rotated resources, omitting World Cup bolter Jofra Archer in a bid to hand other seamers time on the wicket.
And Morgan admitted some quality players will miss the cut for the final World Cup squad.
The England skipper insisted however that recent addition Archer’s availability is not itself driving standards.
“I think they are all pushing each other,” said Morgan.
“It’s a bit like our batting unit the last two or three years. Guys have come in and done well. And guys will miss out.
“It’s going to be a tough decision regardless of how they have performed.
“For the last four years David Willey and Liam Plunkett in particular have reacted really well when being put under pressure. You ask them to do more and they respond really well.
“I thought Liam Plunkett bowled beautifully, even when he came back in that middle spell.
“It didn’t actually swing much today. I thought all the bowlers today who were put under the pump, when we couldn’t take wickets throughout that whole 30-over period, they reacted really well.”
Pakistan coach Arthur was left to wonder at Buttler’s match-defining innings, admitting he will go back to the drawing board in a desperate attempt to devise a plan to stymie England’s star turn.
Asked how to dismiss Buttler, Arthur replied: “Oh, I don’t know, I’ve just asked the bowlers actually. They didn’t give me an answer either.
“We’ll sit down and analyse that and try to work out a plan.
“I don’t think we’re going to stop him, we’ve got to find a way to get him out. The longer he bats he’s going to do some serious damage.”