With all the chaos, uncertainty and ambiguity it brings, the game of cricket never fails to surprise. England’s victory against Pakistan at the Manchester Test reaffirms the statement.
Pakistan had the leading edge for most of the game, and when England slumped to 117/5 in their chase, the victory for the tourists looked almost inevitable. But, then came a scintillating, match-defining partnership between Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes for the sixth wicket.
Buttler scored 75 and Woakes, unbeaten on 84, combined for 139-runs stand that turned the tide in England’s favour.
In his post-match interview, Buttler made a frank admission that he thought he might be playing his last Test after the wicket-keeper had a horrible time behind the stumps. He dropped Shand Masood, missed a stumping-chance when Masood was on 45 and leaked too many runs.
“I’m very aware I didn’t keep well, I missed some chances and at this level you can’t afford to do that no matter how many runs you score. You’ve got to be better, I know that,” Buttler told Sky Sports.
“Definitely thoughts go through your head. ‘Potentially if I don’t score any runs, I’ve played my last game’ – those are the kind of things that are in your head. But you’ve got to try and shut them out and focus on the here and now and play the situation. I’m pleased that I was able to do that,” he added.
Thee explosive right-hander further remarked how England’s skipper Joe Root inspired him with encouraging words.
“Joe actually said before, ‘remember who you are, you enjoy chasing targets down, try to limit it to a one-day game’.”
“A game like today really suited me and suited my eye, in terms of the run chase and breaking it down to more of a one-day game and trying to tick runs off and get us to the finishing line,” Buttler concluded.