Jos Buttler: England captain concedes team won’t be 100 per cent v Aussies

The enthusiasm England’s Sam Billings mustered for Thursday’s opening one-day clash with Australia will need to be mirrored by his energy-sapped teammates after World Cup winning captain Jos Buttler conceded it “would be a challenge” for his team to be at its best.

Given just three days of celebrations following Sunday’s successful T20 World Cup final, several English players will need to back-up in the first of three ODIs slotted into what Moeen Ali called “horrible” scheduling.

England will rest some of the seven World Cup winners in the 15-man squad, but plenty, including Buttler and Ali, will have to front up at Adelaide Oval for Thursday’s match, the first of three that are not part of the qualifying for next year’s 50-over World Cup.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” a weary looking Buttler said on Wednesday morning.

“There’s no point saying all the right things, that we’ll be at our best.”

The tourists will also be without World Cup matchwinner Ben Stokes, who has retired from ODI cricket, but man of the tournament Sam Curran is likely to play.

Billings, who wasn’t part of the T20 World Cup squad, is set to get his chance along with opener Jason Roy, who was dropped after a dismal home summer, and James Vince.

All three batters have had significant Big Bash experience, giving them an element of local knowledge,

Despite the timing and the relevance of the series, Billings was adamant there was still much to play for, particularly for players looking to cement their spots ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“It’s England-Australia in Australia. It’s not a friendly, is it?” he said.

“We’re great mates with a lot of those Aussie guys, but when it comes onto the pitch, you want to beat them. It’s always a great rivalry and always great games, regardless of the format. We’re really looking forward to it.’

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