INDIA CRICKET: Kohli isn’t India’s only dangerman, warns Buttler


Jos Buttler says just focusing on dismissing Virat Kohli could lead to England coming unstuck against India in Cuttack on Thursday.

England cannot afford to focus solely on ousting Virat Kohli despite the India captain starring in their three-wicket win in Pune, says Jos Buttler.

The peerless Kohli helped the hosts take a 1-0 lead in the one-day international series with 122 off 105 balls, sharing a stand of 200 with Kedar Jadhav (120) to set up a three-wicket win.

England had scored their highest ever ODI total in India, 350, and reduced the home team to 63-4 after 12 overs, only for Kohli – who averaged 109.16 in the one-sided Test series between the sides – to produce another masterclass in the chase.

Buttler accepts that Kohli remains the key wicket as England plot a route back into the five-match series, but a stunning knock from Jadhav has kept them on their toes against the whole India line-up.

“He [Kohli] occupies as much space as anyone else [in England’s minds],” the tourists’ vice-captain told a media conference ahead of the second game in Cuttack.

“He’s been in fantastic form for quite some time. His record is very good. The guys have been coming up with plans for him.

“[But] India have some fantastic players, if we just focus on one player and forget guys who have put in some fantastic performances in the other areas of their side then we will come unstuck.

“We have got to come up with plans and try to dismiss Virat, but there’s some fantastic players throughout their line-up.”

England could make changes after the defeat in Pune with Sam Billings pushing for a recall after starring during his spell in the Big Bash League.

Buttler added: “Sam and Jonny [Bairstow] have been around the group for a long time and are chomping at the bit to get in the XI. It shows the strength in depth in the squad.

“It looks a pretty good wicket at the minute, maybe under the lights there will be a bit of dew as well. It may be a high-scoring game but we’re looking forward to it.”