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Jos Butler confident ODI series will start ‘competitive juices’

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Jos Butler is aware of the difficulty of playing England so soon after winning the T20 World Cup, but he is sure the ODI series against Australia will get the ‘competitive juices’ going.

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Only four days separate England from becoming the first men’s team to unite in a limited-overs World Cup, beating Pakistan in the T20 final, and starting the ODI series against Australia in Adelaide.

Moeen Ali called the timing of the three-match series, which do not count towards qualification for next year’s 50 World Cup in India, “terrible”, and Butler agreed.

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Moeen Ali admitted that England play shortly after winning the T20 World Cup

Moeen Ali admitted playing England so soon after they won the T20 World Cup was ‘awful’ (Tim Goode/PA)

But the England captain, speaking to the media on the eve of Thursday’s opening game, insisted they would not go through the motions, adding that the threat of their Ashes rivals could give them some momentum.

“It’s tough, I think, for sure,” Butler said. “But we keep it going. It’s a quick turnaround, there’s no point in hiding that it’s going to be a challenge for us, having made such a high just a few days ago.

“We’re just trying to really enjoy the games and play with a lot of freedom – we don’t need any excuse to do that.

“As soon as you cross the line playing against Australia, I’m sure those competitive juices will get going.”

No fewer than three members of the England national team who took to the field on Sunday will be in the starting line-up on Thursday, but this series provides opportunities for those on the sidelines such as James Vince and Sam Billings.

James Vince made a century in his last international match (Martin Rickett/PA)James Vince made a century in his last international match (Martin Rickett/PA)

James Vince made a century in his last international match (Martin Rickett/PA)

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Vince scored an international hundred in his last international against Pakistan last year and is an option to partner Jason Roy, who is back with England after being overlooked for the T20 World Cup.

Fast bowler Luke Wood and spinner Liam Dawson have been traveling back-up in recent weeks and may join fast bowler Olly Stone, on his way back from injury, in offering some alternative options.

While Butler has been tight-lipped about his squad selection, he indicated that Dawid Malan, who missed the knockout stages of the World Cup after adjusting his left thigh, is expected to be available.

“He was fit to play in the final,” Butler said. “There was an element of risk there that we didn’t want to take but there were a few more days. I’m sure he’ll be in place to play.

“There is a new energy, some great players come in and want to make their mark. There is such a depth of talent in the white ball game, it’s hard to get to the Final XI and good players are missed.

“A few players may not have had as many chances as they would have liked throughout the World Cup, but they are desperate to put in a performance. It is always a sign of a good team when good players miss chances.”

England’s celebrations at the weekend included Matthew Mott having his head shaved by Mowen after a bet with Sam Curran, who apparently should dye his hair the color of the head coach’s choice.

“I really feel for Sam, and I think he was moved there because the deal, in my eyes, was just to shave my death off,” Butler added. But now he’s going out with Sam who has to dye it.

But it gave everyone so much energy when he entered the room and I think Mo had shaved his head. Fair play towards him for keeping his word, I’m not sure it will grow back for him, to be honest!

“We definitely celebrated and had fun with him. Over the last few days, he’s really starting to sink into what we’ve achieved. It was nice to have some time to reflect on that.

“We’re so far away but I’m so proud of everyone here and we’ve had fun with it, it’s been great.”

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