“There’s still a long time before…”: Jos Buttler On Harry Brook’s Selection In England’s World Cup 2023 Squad

Jos Buttler, the vice-captain of the England cricket team, has given a nod to Harry Brook’s remarkable performance in The Hundred, hinting that the young player could still earn his spot in England’s final World Cup squad. Brook’s extraordinary 41-ball century has caught selectors’ attention, but Buttler highlighted Ben Stokes’ return to ODI cricket as a specialist batter, influencing the team’s selection dynamics.

Brook’s omission from England’s 15-man World Cup squad surprised many, but he responded with a stunning display of batting prowess by smashing an unbeaten 105 runs off just 42 balls for the Northern Superchargers. Stepping onto the field when his team struggled at 10 for 3, Brook’s innings showcased his ability to turn the game around single-handedly.

As it stands, Brook is likely to join the squad as a reserve for the upcoming World Cup in India. However, England has the flexibility to make changes to their provisional 15-man squad until September 28. In the past, England has made late adjustments to their squad, as seen in the 2019 World Cup when Jofra Archer and Liam Dawson were added instead of Joe Denly and David Willey.

Brook is currently part of England’s T20I squad for a series against New Zealand, and Buttler entertained the idea that Brook’s impressive performances could pave his way into the World Cup squad through sheer merit.

Recognizing Brook’s potential, Buttler said, “There’s still a long time before everyone is meant to get on the plane, so we’ll wait and see what happens. We all know Harry’s a fantastic player and we saw what he can do the other. It’s not like it’s a surprise: we know what a brilliant player he is; he’s just the unfortunate one not to be in that squad.

However, Buttler emphasized that the return of Ben Stokes as a specialist batter has changed the selection dynamics. Stokes’ exceptional cricketing skills and his significance as a valuable asset in the team have altered the selection calculus. Buttler praised Stokes as a fantastic player and acknowledged the impact of his availability on the team’s strategy and balance.

“Of course, Ben Stokes coming back and being available just as a batter sort of changes the dynamic slightly. Ben’s a fantastic player to be able to welcome back, so it’s a tough selection.” Buttler added.

In light of the quiet performances from several members of the provisional squad during The Hundred, including players like Liam Livingstone, there seems to be a lack of direct alternatives that would ensure the squad’s equilibrium. Livingstone’s multifaceted bowling abilities in both off-spin and leg-spin are potentially critical for England’s success on India’s pitches.

Buttler also highlighted the positive aspect of having tough selection decisions, underscoring the depth and talent within the England cricket setup. He emphasized that the presence of excellent players not currently in the provisional squad indicates the team’s strength in depth.

As the T20I series against New Zealand commences and the World Cup approaches, the competition for spots in the squad remains fierce. Harry Brook’s extraordinary century has injected a sense of possibility and intrigue, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of team dynamics and selection strategies.

Buttler further explained, “There’s been a lot of players performing well over some time. That’s where we’re at the minute. We’re blessed with a lot of strength, depth, and talent. There are excellent players not in that provisional squad at the moment. It’s been the nature of England squads in the white-ball teams over the last few years, which is a great sign for us. They’re good problems to have.”

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